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May 18, 2009

Al Mubarak: Hughes will be at City next season

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has ended speculation about the future of manager Mark Hughes by insisting the Welshman will remain at Eastlands next season.

Hughes' position has been the subject of intense speculation since the Abu Dhabi United Group, headed by Sheikh Mansour, became owners in August, and Al Mubarak has set the record straight ahead of City's last match of the season on Sunday, at home to Bolton Wanderers.

"I have been surprised at all the speculation because I have always been consistent with everyone on the subject of the manager," Al Mubarak told the club's website.

"Every time I have spoken I have said we have the highest confidence in Mark and I would like to re-iterate that now. Mark will be our manager next season; nothing has changed."

City's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday ended their hopes of winning a place in the Europa League next season, but the chairman is happy with the progress that has been made by the club.

"It has been a difficult season with all the rumours about Mark's future and the number of players we have been linked with," Al Mubarak said.

"There has been incredible and unnecessary pressure put on Mark from outside the club. From my perspective, I think we have come a long way and I am looking for a big finish to the season.

"We have accomplished things since January and now we can start focusing on next season."

Al Mubarak also stressed that City need a period of stability upon which to build a successful future.

He said: "This is a club that has had 10 managers in 15 years and changes of ownership. It is hard to believe we have ever had a real pre-season.

"This time we will have that and will do so with a year's experiences behind us and that will make us stronger. Next year is going to be better than this one. The club has a lot more stability."

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