Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Monday May 18 2009
City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has put an end to months of speculation by making it clear that Mark Hughes is to remain Manchester City's manager...
In an exclusive interview with the MUEN in London on the day of City's narrow defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, the City supremo set out to piss off a fair few sports hacks who already had Hughes's City obituary lined up for the Bolton game this coming Sunday:
'I have been surprised at all the speculation because I have always been consistent with everyone on the subject of the manager.
'Every time I have spoken I have said that 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.
'It has been a difficult season with all the rumours written about Mark's future and the number of players that we have been linked with. There has been incredible and unnecessary pressure put on Mark from outside the club - especially from the media but I recognise it comes with the game.
'From my perspective, I think we have come a long way and I am very much looking to a big finish to the season next week against Bolton.
'When you consider how things have gone since January I think we have accomplished things and now we can start focusing on next season.
'For once this club can have a pre-season. 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.
'So this time we will have that and we will do so with a year's experiences behind us and that will make us stronger. I think next year is going to be better than this one. The club has a lot more stability.'
It's hard to find anyone around SportCity, Carrington or in town who has a bad word for City's owners and repeatedly, His Highness Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon Al Mubarak come across as men of honour.
Their absolute backing for Hughes is certainly to their credit considering what has taken place during this rollercoaster season.
Now Hughes and his backroom staff can focus on the new season almost immediately, but in the knowledge that they must hit the ground running.
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Date:Monday May 18 2009
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