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Nov 9, 2008

Under-fire Hughes calms speculation over future

Under-fire Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has moved to calm speculation over his future, but admits that he is not safe from the sack at Eastlands.

The Welshman - who moved to City in the summer, has come in for criticism following a run of one win in six Premier League games.

That form is rumoured to have led City owners Abu Dhabi United Group, who took over the club in January, to start looking at possible candidates to succeed Hughes.

Following the arrival of the new found riches from Abu Dhabi, City have been expected to become a major Premier League force.

And Hughes admits that his side needs to improve, saying: "No one is immune from football pressures.

"All we are trying to do is build a football club and that is not going to happen overnight. The team finished eighth last season and we know we have to do better than that.

However, Hughes said he has faith in the new owners and that they would not be expecting quick results.

"They don't give me the impression there will be a knee-jerk reaction if results are not going well,'' he said. ''It's a long-term project. They (Abu Dhabi United Group) understand the team is not going to be challenging immediately for the top four. They are realistic in their aspirations.

"They know we will not be able to get all the players we want in one transfer window. Over a number of windows, yes.

"They are very calm while everyone else is getting a bit hysterical. It's early days for them and for everybody. It's a work in progress."

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