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Serie A

Hughes appointed new Stoke boss

Mark Hughes has been appointed the new Stoke City manager.

• Whittaker: Sparky charged with igniting Stoke fortunes

The Welshman, whose last job at Queens Park Rangers ended when he was sacked last November, takes over nine days after Tony Pulis left the club.

The Potters unveiled the 49-year-old as their new boss at a press conference on Thursday morning.

Hughes taking over from Pulis has not been welcomed by a contingent of Stoke fans. One supporter even went as far as to display a large banner outside the Britannia Stadium demanding "Hughes Out" as a reaction to reports that he was in line for the job.

"A lot of fans don't want Mark Hughes," Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Stoke City Supporters' Club, told The Times. "There is even a petition against him. "We need a manager like Roberto Martínez to be able to put bums on seats, we are already 2,000 season tickets down on this time last year.

"The reputation of Mark Hughes goes before him at QPR even if he did a decent job at Blackburn and Fulham."

After managing Wales and Blackburn Rovers with some degree of success, Hughes took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson at Manchester City in 2008. The former Manchester United striker lasted only until December the following year, however, when he was replaced by Roberto Mancini.

After spending the 2010-11 season in charge at Fulham, Hughes chose not to extend his initial one-year contract and left Craven Cottage, only to take the job down the road at QPR seven months later.

Despite being backed heavily in the transfer window by Loftus Road chairman Tony Fernandes, Hughes could not guide the club away from the threat of relegation, and he was sacked in November. His replacement, Harry Redknapp, could not stop the Rs from going down after their second season back in the top flight.


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