Dec 7, 2011
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April 2013
Stoke City appoint Mark Hughes

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Former Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes has today been announced as the manager of Stoke City after discussions following Tony Pulis' sacking. The Stoke City board announced Hughes as manager at a press conference at the Britannia Stadium this morning in front of a large media gathering just days after Tony Pulis' departure.

Pulis was sacked from the club after finishing the 2012-2013 season in 13th position with 42 points - the lowest total for Stoke since they were promoted to the Premier League in 2008. Despite the relative success he has given the club in his second stint as manager, chairman Peter Coates decided the club would be best to move forward under Welshman Mark Hughes.

Hughes has been appointed at the club at the beginning of pre-season; leaving him with just under three months to prepare his team for the challenges of the Premier League. The club have announced a pre-season tour of the USA which will see them play two friendlies against American team Orlando City and English Championship side Burnley. The Welsh manager is determined to rebuild his reputation following an unsuccessful spell at Queens Park Rangers where he was sacked after 12 games of the 2012-2013 season having overseen his team draw four and lose the other eight games.

During his playing career, he was most noted for two spells at Manchester United - despite periods at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Southampton, Everton and Blackburn Rovers. Hughes won two Premier League title medals as well as four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners' Cups. He was also a beaten finalist in the FA Cup and League Cup. Hughes was capped 72 times by his country and scored 16 before becoming manager of Wales in 1999. After five years in charge, he left and was appointed as Blackburn Rovers boss soon after. In his final season at Ewood Park, his side finished 7th in the Premier League before he was appointed Manchester City manager.

On the 19th of December, 2009, Hughes was sacked by Manchester City and replaced with Roberto Mancini. In the following summer, he signed a contract at London side Fulham following the departure of Roy Hodgson to Liverpool. He led the team to an 8th placed finish in the Premier League and helped them qualify for the Europa League before resigning after 11 months in charge. Seven months later, he joined money rich Queens Park Rangers and kept the team in the Premier League despite loosing on the last day of the season to Manchester City.

Following five seasons in the Premier League, Stoke City fans will be hoping Welsh manager Mark Hughes can lead them to their second experience of Europa League football and push their club further up the table.
Welcome back mate. Really enjoy your stories, so can't wait for more. (H)
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July and August 2013
Hughes enjoys dream start at Stoke

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Welsh manager Mark Hughes has overseen a dramatic change in Stoke City's fortunes as his side maintain a 100% record after two Premier League games. The Potters' first-team was completely rebuilt in the summer as former Blackburn manager Hughes set out to push his new side into Europa League contention. In total, Stoke City signed twelve players (eight permanent, four loans) and let twenty five go (foureen permanent, eleven loans) - making £18 million for the club. Among those signed was wing-back Seamus Coleman, Italian midfielder Marco Verratti and young French forward Yassine Benzia while the club let the likes of Cameron Jerome, Wilson Palacios and Jonathan Walters leave. The Potters played five games in total (two friendles, two Premier League, one Capital One Cup) and have conceded just once:

27th of July, 2013 | Friendly
Orlando City SC 0-2 Stoke City
Stoke City: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Matuidi, Kightly, N'Zonzi, Essien, Etherington, Destro
Substitutes: Sorensen, Shotton, Owen, Walters, Rose, Coleman, Butland, Crouch, Verratti

3rd of August, 2013 | Friendly
Burnley 0-2 Stoke City
Stoke City: Butland, Coleman, Shotton, Huth, Rose, Matuidi, Kightly, Verratti, N'Zonzi, Etherington, Destro
Substitutes: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shea, Owen, Shawcross, Wilson, Crouch, Begovic

17th of August, 2013 | Barclays Premier League
Stoke City 2-0 Newcastle United
Stoke City: Begovic, Coleman, Shawcross, Shotton, Rose, N'Zonzi, Kightly, Torres, Essien, Shea, Destro
Substitutes: Butland, Wilkinson, Verratti, Owen, Wilson, Matuidi, Crouch

24th of August, 2013 | Barclays Premier League
Everton 1-2 Stoke City
Stoke City:
Begovic, Coleman, Shawcross, Shotton, Rose, N'Zonzi, Afellay, Torres, Essien, Shea, Destro
Substitutes: Butland, Wilkinson, Verratti, Benzia, Wilson, Matuidi, Crouch

27th of August, 2013 | Capital One Cup Second Round
Crawley Town 0-3 Stoke City
Stoke City: Butland, Wilson, Shotton, Wilkinson, Rose, Edu, Kightly, Matuidi, Verratti, Shea, Benzia
Substitutes: Begovic, Shawcross, Afellay, Crouch, Coleman, Torres, Owen

In: Seamus Coleman (£3 million), Xavi Torres (£1.4 million), Danny Rose (loan), Yassine Benzia (£3 million), Marco Verratti (£5.5 million), Blaise Matuidi (loan), Michael Essien (loan), Mattia Destro (£3 million), Ibrahim Afellay (loan), Luke Shaw (£3.5 million), Ruben Pardo (£2 million), Gianluca Caprari (£3 million)

Out: Cameron Jerome (£5 million), Geoff Cameron (£4 million), Glenn Whelan (£3 million), Rory Delap(£350,000), Mamady Sidibe(£170,000), Matthew Upson(£300,000), Carlo Nash(£60,000), Wilson Palacios(£3 million), Jermaine Pennant(£2.1 million), Charlie Adam(loan), Florent Cuvelier(loan), Kenwyne Jones(£5 million), Matthew Lund(loan), James Campbell(loan), Dean Whitehead(£1 million), Immanual Parry(loan), Ben Glasgow(loan), Dale Eve(loan), Jonathan Walters(£11 million), Lucas Dawson(loan), Peter Crouch(£7 million), Andy Wilkinson(£500,000)
Excellent signings in there, Benzia, Verrati and Shaw notably.