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Hughes Out! - To Find Better Players

Tottenham have just lost to Wigan and sit third from bottom in the relegation zone- 'Redknapp out! Redknapp out! Redknapp out!`

Sound familiar? No, because that`s not what Tottenham fans were chanting, it is what we would have been chanting if it was us.

If the Redknapp revolution at Tottenham - who have just signed an 'Experienced Premier League' player in Defoe - can still languish and lose games, we really need to look at ourselves and Mark Hughes and realise success cant all happen overnight.

This season is all about exploring the squad, shaping and molding a successful team. It takes a lot of trial and error to get right. Hughes has fielded a fair few players and some in different positions- playing Micah Richards at left back etc. People consider this as bad management but the fact is that Mark Hughes doesn`t know anything about these players until he has seen for himself what they can do and can`t do. He needs to know who he can trust to do what he wants.

Sir Bacon Face Ferguson when asked about Hughes stated: 'The art of management is building a team with balance, with certain characteristics that blend with each other - that's the most important thing.`

I think we can all assume he knows what he is talking about.

Hughes has tested people and they have passed or they have failed. It takes time, it takes patience. All the players who can`t do what he wants, he can now replace in the transfer window. Money doesn`t buy success but it can buy you the right players to achieve it.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer: Lincolnsmariner Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 11 2009

Time: 4:31PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Don't do that! My heart was in my mouth when I saw the headline on NewsNow, calmed down a bit when I saw the article though!
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11/01/2009 16:45:00

Dont sack him, please no, not until we have played you on Sturday any ways ;)
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11/01/2009 16:46:00

Sorry, but what utter tosh. There are no reports emanating from WHL that Redknapp has fallen out with half of his team. I don't recall Redknapp taking a forward off to bring a forward on when he is 2-0 down in a Cup match? As for Richards at left back being a test - what's the next stern examination then? Zabaletta in goal? Mark Bowen up front? I don't normally lay into people for opinions as there are no rights and wrongs - but that piece has really riled me! Hughes has admirably demonstrated so far he does not have the capability, tactical nous nor wherewithal to manage a club considerably bigger than Blackburn. That is why a significant number of fans would like to see him replaced with someone who has these qualities.
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11/01/2009 16:51:00

Derry, Hughes has been at the club for 5 months. He has had a squad plagued with injuries and terrible players. Can you really judge him after seeing so little? Redknapp hasnt set the league ablaze with Tottenham yet there is no doubt of a great team and manager. These things take time. No one likes losing games but we need patience.
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11/01/2009 17:08:00

A dressing-room insider said: "Most of the players are right behind Hughes, but unless you have everyone pulling in the right direction at a club then you will get problems. "That's what's happening here. Some players know they haven't got a future at the club and others just don't like the manager. The lazy players under Sven may not like his boot camp training but he is a manager, not their best friend. Mark Hughes has been trusted to build a challenging City side and he should be given the time to build it.
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11/01/2009 17:13:00

Agreed things take time. However given the squad we had was challenging in the top 6 up until December by which time everyone had fallen out with Thaksin over Sven - hence the decline - and was then strengthened with Jo, Robinho, Zabaletta, SWP, Tal Ben Haim and Kompany - one has to wonder why we have so many problems? One surely has to wonder why this manager cannot get a tune out of them? One has to wonder why it is acceptable to be hovering over the relegation zone and have been beaten by Brighton and Forest in the respective cup comps, in spite of the current manager spending in excess of 60m?
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11/01/2009 17:18:00

The situation isn't the same, Redknapp is not an Arsenal legend! Hughes should NEVER have been appointed because of his Rag past - the fact that he has now proved himself to be a very average manager makes his sacking even more vital!
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11/01/2009 17:21:00

strengthened with Jo and Ben Haim?! The rest were good buys yes, I do question him and some of our poor perfomances, but you cant say EVERY player has been performing poorly? Zab, Kompany, Ireland, Robinho, Sturridge and SWP have been great in nearly every game they have played. The rest have been awful and that includes 3 of our defence and to an extent Joe Hart. I think the squad just isnt balanced with the right people.
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11/01/2009 17:24:00

None of the people saying he should be given more time are saying he is doing really well, they are just more patient. If we have made no progress by the end of the season I will be joining you!
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11/01/2009 17:27:00

Lol! Indeed mate. And that is the point. He just hasn't been able to get the best out of the team consistently. If I'd been to a few matches and thought "yep we were unlucky there" on the wrong end of a defeat etc, then fair enough. But how many times (and be honest here) have you come away scratching your head wondering why he played the formation he did, made the subs he did, didn't change anything, where the next three points are likely to come from? Do you remember coming into that run of Boro, Wigan etc and the manager stating 'this is a great chance to get some points on the board."? How many points did we end up getting? I don't want to give him anymore time as it will surely end in misery based on the his first 5 months in charge. I do not want to give him more time as we are, for once in our lives, in the very fortunate position where we don't have to put up with mediocrity and can afford to poach a quality manager.
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11/01/2009 17:34:00

if we can get someone like frank rijkaard in then I would have no problem! I just dont see anyone else who would come in now and change things around. The owners are obviously giving him the time and so we dont have too much choice anyway. I have been really disappointed with some of his decisions and I can forgive them to an extent- the fact that he is testing out players and positions- but the rest of the season is where I think he should be judged. If we come 8th or lower, he should go.
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11/01/2009 17:40:00

It's clear we've got him til the end of the season, so I guess we will just hve to wait and see anyway. Personally, I would never have appointed him in the first place. I will also give you any proce you want that we will come 8th or lower! :(
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11/01/2009 17:50:00

Sorry, that should have been 'very short odds' not any price you want'!
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11/01/2009 17:51:00

I hope he is after better players. The ones we are linked with most are actually no better than we actually have. Bellamy, Santa Cruz and Scott Parker wouldn't improve the first team at all, though they would add to strength in depth to the squad. The squad is far too small to achieve the objectives. I'm beginning to think Hughes will make a hash of the transfers this window... I hope he proves me wrong.
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11/01/2009 17:57:00

haha! Yeah I really hope we do better than that... We will see by the end of the month if he has built a good enough squad I suppose.
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11/01/2009 17:57:00

Im not sure if Cook and Aldridge are the best people to be responsible for transfers, noithing seems to be happening! While we DO need players like Bellamy, Santa Cruz and Scott Parker to bolster our ranks, I am sure Hughes will be looking to build on these with a few quality signings.
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11/01/2009 18:15:00

I close family friend stated yesterday they had been told by a very well known City source that Kaka and Villa are pretty much done deals. However, I just cannot see it being true. I can't imagine, given our current position if nothing else, let alone the current manager's 'pulling power', there is any truth in it.
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11/01/2009 18:20:00

They may be done deals for the summer rather than in this window.
Buzz Lightyear
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11/01/2009 19:47:00

I like your thinking eighthsin, we do need time - look at what Martin O'Neill is doing after a slow start. If anyone would have asked me at the start of the september if we could be top 10 at January, especially given all the injuries and other problems, I would have been more than happy with that. And we are within 1 win of that so certainly no need to panic just yet
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11/01/2009 21:35:00

Believe bout Villa mate, his agent was at last game.. Money talks, we may be in the crapper but soon these players know that they can get us there! They want to be apart of it... If you have loads of money, you can fix it - its like building a house, you dont start with a mansion!
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11/01/2009 21:37:00

The team that Sven left was in bad shape. I personally hope that Mark Hughes can make the psychological move from Blackburn to City. Admittedly this will have to happen sooner rather than later. Reasons? I think his ethics are up to it, especially to manage the team long term. He's in a similar British mould to Ferguson without being perhaps as cynical. He will make City hard to beat in the long run, and with a couple more flair players will be well placed to take on those who have dominated the CL cash, (and therefore most of the transfer funds), since the inception of the EPL. There's no quick fix in this league, and there's not going to be anything like a level playing field in the EPL until a US-type draft system is introduced. Which will be fought against with cash by those who have the cash to defend their positions in the Champions League. In the meantime, it'll just be a straight fight.. Cash v More cash. Very basic no-holds-barred stuff, you might think, unless, as seems to be the case with City, the owners intend to develop or re-develop an area of the city. Philanthropy then comes into play, etc etc, with its attendant ramifications! For instance, are the supposed societal benefits going to be felt by the majority of the local population? The investment in the club by the Abu Dhabi group is, on the face of it, a possible welcome emotional lift for all City supporters, and that would run into a minimum of 100,000 people, at a time when the economic health of the whole country is at the very least depressed, but what the real long term ramifications are is anyone's guess. We know full well, if you'll excuse the pun, that the oil is a finite resource; it will run out. Are we seeing Abu Dhabi transfer some of its present assets from the emptying bore holes of the Persian Gulf to future population 'wells' in the inner cities of northern Europe? Personally, I think we are, and I can draw all kinds of conclusions from that, but this has now wandered off into the realms of philosophy, so I feel that I owe all of you an apology for that, and I'll honestly try not to do that if ever I come back to this page/site. One last reminder.. swapping Hughes in the next year will put us back another year. There's a gulf between us and the rags, as was demonstrated again this afternoon. Yes we can sometimes give them a bloody nose in the local derby because of the rivalry, but it took Ferguson years to hone his operation, his squad and its depth. When I hear so many of you baying for Hughes' blood, it saddens me because he's has obviously got the ability. And he has to be excused one or two tactical experiments with players because there are too many injuries and the squad is thin in places. Also, it would seem that this transfer window has proved just how difficult it is to bring in players at a price that isn't going to re-inflate the whole industry and turn it into a debt-ridden mire for decades. I'm sure that in the last week of the window, there'll be some extortionate prices paid to address crises, but as we can all see, Allerdyce is just taking the ***** because he knows he can. It's to be hoped that when push comes to shove on Jan 31st, that Hughes will have brought in a couple from Europe, and that Allerdyce will have been totally ignored. I've been City since before I can remember, and it's been an ongoing circus for all of my life. Often a really enjoyable one. That'll never change.
roy harper
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11/01/2009 22:56:00

wow roy very passionate ... I agree we need to keep MH ... for the rest of the season and then make judgements based on his performance. Fergie also took a while to settle in.
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12/01/2009 01:28:00

Great post roy! It will be interesting to see how we develop over the next few years, not only on the pitch but the whole club and middle-eastlands.
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12/01/2009 02:14:00

roy harper/eighthsin: ...Hughes "obviously has the ability". What do you base this assumption on? His management of a small town club with no expectation?. Certainly not his results as Manager at Manchester City. It has been interesting reading different opinions to mine. I feel Hughes has been an unmitigated disaster. His unimaginative mid-table journeymen transfer targets have been as embarrassing as his horrendously poor results that should have seen him down the road before Christmas before the FA Cup humiliation. In a competitive corporate environment a manager who has consistently failed to deliver after a promotion would be relieved of his duties for being out of his depth before it impacted on results and strategic objectives. I only hope the rumours of our owners contacting Mancini are true (1yr younger, 7yrs mgt, 3 clubs, maj trophy in each, 9 in total), despite wanting to give Hughes the transfer window, a Chelsea reserve left back in 12 days is not good enough and, his publicised targets are an outrage for a club with our strategy, ambition and financial support. No wonder our execs are dragging their feet on them. Posters on this site have come up with better quality achievable targets than Hughes. We are a global laughing stock due to his poor management. If he was a Utd plant, he could not have done a worse job than he has to date to the reputation of MCFC and the hopes and dreams of its fans. We need a manager who can get more out of the squad we have now by delivering the results we expect and attract the quality in the positions we need. I don't think comfortable top half at Christmas with a good shot a 6th was asking too much after 80M being spent and him having a pre-season that Sven did not have. Sky has called it competitive but really the EPL is poor this season so that makes his performance even worse. He does not have the winning CV and charisma that will attract the level of player and give the reassurance needed to progress with our strategy for success. His performance to date gives no confidence that he is anything other than a man promoted to a position of his incompetence. tbc
City Girl
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12/01/2009 07:12:00

cont from above. Furthermore, I haven't seen a single member of the successful reserve/Youth Team promoted in his time yet he moans about lack of options. Frustratingly, some of our best (Mee/Weiss/McGivern) are in the positions we have had problems, still he prefers Vassell, Dunne and Ball. The fact he feels the need to employ players he has managed before such as Santa Cruz at a premium when there are better out there is just pathetic. Is his lack of results in league and cups the most annoying thing about him for me? Well actually no, his constant talking down of City and talking up of the opposition gets up my nose as does his distasteful shirking of responsibility for the results (I would sack him for that alone), his mgt teams selective leaking of personnel issues to the press (is it true that Jo/Elano/etc... are causing trouble or, is it a planted excuse bec managing the team is beyond him?). I don't know. Considering Hughes banned the press from the training/ground without invite then I do wonder how they know what is going on in the showers. He has not once given an interview (apart from at his unveiling as our manager) that made me feel anything other than bored, deflated or contained empty promises for a run of results that he failed to deliver. He should be inspiring the whole club from top to bottom and enthusing it with confidence. Small club mentality...he is full of it. The phrases he chooses at times are appalling for a manager. He reminds me of a parent that tells its child constantly what it cannot be as opposed to inspiring it to achieve its dreams. He talks of his management of expectation. Well actually, someone should tell him (probably Cook) management of expectation is delivering the results you are expected to deliver, not the lowering of targets and objectives you have been given in line with your management inadequacies. The bookmakers rarely get anything wrong and they had us nailed down for a top six place this season and stopped taking bets at the start, not relegation or bottom half. As for raising the bar on transfer fees etc. The time for worrying about anyone else in football ended at the setting up of the Premier League (which we did not get a vote on) and then the Champions League (another carve up that did not include us). Though I do sympathise with your sentiments I am afraid Roy that bus left the station years ago and we were not driving it. Not sure I understand your reasoning, how the success of Utd strengthens the case for City retaining a poor manager or is it that "football is a results business" does not apply to men who have sat in the same dressing room as baconface. As for getting rid of Hughes losing us a year. Well take a look at the table and the reputation damage to our club. We have already lost a year and it is only Jan. I am all for giving a manager time but not when he is palpably poor (2 points off relegation, top 6 prob gone by Jan, out of the cups, underperforming team, disappointing transfer targets) and whose performance is likely to lose us our summer star targets if he stays. As for excusing Hughes for being tactically incompetent, I respect your opinion but no I will not excuse that either thanks. If he wants to be excused for his management inadequacies then he should have stayed at Blackburn and not talked himself up so much as the best young manager in Britain. 5M+ a year (for him and his team) is not a training salary and despite what he might think, City is not a small club where failure is acceptable anymore. Acceptance of mediocrity can become a habit and only leads to year on year sustained failure. Lets break that habit at City and start expecting the best as that is the first stage of achieving the success we all crave. We should start with the manager. Hughes has experience of winning nothing as a manager and has put this Club equal with a relegation spot this season. That would have been unthinkable at the beginning of the season with our squad and investment so why to some of you is that acceptable now?
City Girl
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12/01/2009 07:13:00

City Girl, you make it sound that Mark Hughes has utterly failed.2 points off relegation, but still only 6 points off 8th with a game in hand. Suppose you sacked Hughes today, just who would you get to come in and take over right now, because any manager who hasn't got a job right now is out of work because he failed at his last club. Any manager who is doing well wouldn't want to leave his current job no matter how mch the wages paid. Who would you want Mark Hughes to buy for the club? Not easy in the January window, SGE had the same problem. It is Ok saying we should go and Get Ronaldo from United, but apart from United not wanting to sell, the player has doubts aswell, because we are an average team and in the window Mr Hughes is trying to strengthen the squad, of course he would like Messi and kaka and all the other names banded about, but they are not coming just yet. Let him build us a team, lets get behind him, lets get behind the team. Eigthtsin says that he experiemented, he did, but we all thought that the team he selected and sent out against Brighton and Forest would win, they did not which showed that we lack strength in depth and right now he is trying to address that balance. We basically have no cover on either wing nor do we have the cover for suspensions and injuries to come. Lets reserve judgement at the end of the season, I am not saying don't have a moan, that comes with the job, but constantly asking for his sacking/resignation does not do anyone any good.
Buzz Lightyear
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12/01/2009 08:23:00

Buzz..I wouldn't say he has exactly achieved anything either. Nrver mind saying we are 6 points off 8th so are umpteen other teams the reality is where are we going to get these 6 points from. If we leave it to MH it will take at least 10 games and where will be by then, relegation certs no doubt....Yes City Girl you have got it exactly spot on nad I am sure the majority of fans agree also.
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12/01/2009 08:54:00

....well at least the weather is better today........!!!! .. ;o)
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12/01/2009 11:31:00

Basically what I am saying Alphie, is there in no-one else out there who can do any better at this time.I know he is not doing a great job,but I do give him the benefit of having inhereited a poor side no matter where they finished last season and has not really had time to bring in new faces, but the people he has brought in on the whole have impressed. I don't count Jo, I think he was forced on Hughes. TBH and berti Glauber are the only two, and Glauber I cannot comment on having never seen him play.
Buzz Lightyear
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12/01/2009 11:41:00

I don't think finishing ninth last season is the performance of a poor side . He has improved on last seasons squad (so they say) yet were are languishing near the foot of the table. I don't go along with the "there is nobody out there at this time". I am sure Jim Cassells would make a better fist of it given the chance. At least he would probaly harmonise the dressing room which would go a long way to turning our form round.
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12/01/2009 12:41:00

Well the looks of things of us signing more players is not looking good another bid rejected. All teams are exsprecting more money of us which is a disgrace. If newcastle bid the same amount of money for bellamy as we did i bet it would of being accepted!!!
dunne deal
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12/01/2009 14:41:00

Yet another offer made by Hughes for Craig Bellamy. He is not a "better player" in my view, simply somebody Hughes has worked with in the past. Maybe he was the big "surprise signing" we were promised. I bet most City fans would have been flabbergasted to see the Welsh wonker pull on the City shirt. Mr Hughes, please could you talk to some of those agents who keep contacting you. They probably know some nice players you haven't worked with yet? Just a suggestion.
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12/01/2009 14:43:00

This window is so difficult, we can't even buy crap players that most fans don't want anyway, how on earth are we going to sign class players. Alphie, our good work was done before december last season, the gap between 10th and the rest of the league was enormous and we were so far ahead that was the worse place we could have got. The team only achieved 26 points out of 72, not good and I say this again, if they hadn't chased after goofy for three quarters of the summer, we might have got a few more throught the door like, kompany and Zabaleta.
Buzz Lightyear
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12/01/2009 14:54:00

Buzz: We have lost 11 games and are only half way through the season. Now 2 points off relegation. I suppose that is success to some but not me. Is it purely deficiencies in the squad that has cost us these defeats or has the manager and his management team to take some responsibility for choosing, organising and motivating the team. We do have cover on the wings, Hughes has just decided to play players out of posn rather than use the very good reserve team players (which I go to watch at times). We have the best squad we have had in more than 20 years. It is not perfect but it is far better than 15th best on paper. What good is 8th to us when the objective is top 6 which is 13 points away bec we need top 4 next season. I thought SGE problem last January was mostly lack of cash. I read he was promised an amount based on Thaksin getting his money which did not happen so we had to scramble to get what little we could afford at the end of the month rather than primary targets he had set up with agents. As for no one but a loser available as a manager, I would take the available Mancini with his 3 scudetti in a row over the last 3 seasona as the kind of loser I could live with as manager of City. 9 major titles in 7 years with 3 different clubs proves he is not a one club wonder either. He hasn't managed in the Premiership but I don't think anyone would object to giving him time with his track record of delivering success. I did not mention getting Ronaldo (wouldn't want him as wouldnt give a penny to Utd) or anyone else right now of that level so thats your words not mine but I think our sights as a club should be above such sicknote top club rejects as Bellamy or Santa Cruz at ridiculous prices especially when (as an example) Podolski is available at half the price. We should not be giving funds to teams around us or being taken for a mug. There are good internationals available all around europe and South America at better value for money than the premiership. Many clubs are not in europe or just the UEFA cup with one or two really good players that would enhance us. Sevilla is a good example as they have been knocked out of UEFA Cup. I have nothing against Hughes as a person and I am always behind the team but that doesn't mean I am blind to the deficiencies he has shown as City manager. I would love it if he started to show some management acumen, rather than passing the buck blaming Sven for everything and get City 6th place or better and attain 4th or better next season. However his track record at City indicates another outcome. We should not need to spend another 60M to finish top half. I believe a decent manager would have us comfortably on at least 9 more points now but I suppose it is all about opinions.
City Girl
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12/01/2009 17:54:00

City Girl, The last comments you made are all good and I agree with almost all you say and I understand your frustration and the bit where Svens problems lay in the January sale, we both are at one in that I said exactly the same thing on the forum before I read your latest comment. I dont know when you started supporting City, but I suspect that I have a few years on you and I have seen the constant change of manager as a solution to the problem. I am not saying dont sack your manager if he is bobbins and if Hughes is still chasing Parker and Bellamy in the summer, the I would be questioning his judgement as a sound manager fit to be in charge of City. This is January and he is trying to get players in to boost the numpties with have in reserves at present.Even that is proving to be difficult and I would not be unhappy if the Bellamy bid completely went away.I dont rate him and I don't think he will do the club any lasting good, probably more harm.As for Sven I was very proud to have him as the City manager and he was excellent at every interview, you could not help but like him and it is because of that ability, he was able to bring some really good talent to the club. I personally wanted him to stay and to finish the job and if he had been given the chance with the present owners money, we would not be in the league position we are now.It good to have different opinions and you should come into the forum and voice your opinions there. Your argument is well thought out and researched and sensible. We will not agree with each other over Mr Hughes, but we are stuck with him and as such I have to back him until he is no longer here and then I will back the next manager after that.
Buzz Lightyear
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12/01/2009 19:15:00


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