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The Toe Poke

Hughes continues Stoke staff shake-up

Stoke boss Mark Hughes appears set to bring another familiar face with him to the Britannia Stadium, with QPR head of coaching Gly Hodges moving up to Staffordshire according to West London Sport.

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Hodges, who was appointed by Hughes at Loftus Road a year ago, has now left the role to link up with him in the Potteries.

There has been no confirmation of the appointment by the club but reports suggest that the 50-year-old former Wimbledon and Sheffield United player is set to follow in the footsteps of scouting coordinator Kevin Cruickshank.

Hughes and Hodges were Wales team-mates and also worked together at Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham.

With Dave Kemp, Gerry Francis and John Rudge having left Stoke in the end-of-season clear-out that cost the long-serving Tony Pulis his job at the Britannia Stadium, Hughes has already turned to tried-and-trusted men to fill his backroom team.

He has taken on Mark Bowen as assistant manager and former Chelsea keeper Eddie Niedzwiecki as a coach.

Meanwhile, transfer-seeking Steven Nzonzi has been told to knuckle down following the rejection of his request for a move.

The Frenchman is less than one year into the four-year deal he signed last August but has grown unsettled despite winning the club's Young Player of the Year award for 2013-14.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates insists he is going nowhere unless it's in the club's interests to sell him and said: "Mark Hughes will decide on that situation but he is our player and is under contract.

"He has said he has designs to play at the highest level. Well, he needs to play well to attract these clubs and I hope he does."

Unless there are unforeseen developments, Nzonzi will be in training when Stoke report back next Monday.


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