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The best managerial spells of Mark Hughes

Bradford City’s new boss, Mark Hughes, has had remarkable career as a footballer and as a manager here are his best managerial spells. 

His first gig as a manager was with Wales national team in 1996. Initially he was on temporary bases, soon had done enough to earn a contract.  


Getty Images Mark Hughes managed Wales for five years his memorable moment was reaching the UEFA EURO 2004 playoffs .

Wales came close to qualifying for the 2004 Euros, even managing to beat Italy 2– 1 in Cardiff in the process. However, Hughes’ side fell short after losing to Russia 1-0 in the final

 After the tournament, Mark Hughes quit the Welsh team to join Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League.

Blackburn Rovers


His goal was to keep Rovers away from relegation. In his first season, he managed to get them to the semi-final of the FA Cup for the first time in 40 years. 

 In his second season he helped Rovers finish in the top six of the Premier League, which meant they qualified for the UEFA Cup, beating teams like Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.  

Manchester City

Manchester City FC via Getty Ima Manchester City manager Mark Hughes congratulates Robinho after he is substituted .

Hughes joined Manchester City in the summer of 2008, after they sacked manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. Following his appointment, the club set out to bring fresh players and change the culture of the team. This helped him bring stars in, the likes of which included Vincent Kompany, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Pablo Zabaleta.

In first match he lost against Aston Villa 4-2 at Villa Park, but in the following two games they beat West Ham and Sunderland. 

In September 2008, Abu Dhabi United, an investment group, took over the club and gave Hughes a warchest in the process. His first purchase was Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million which broke the British transfer record. Hughes wasn’t finished, though, also getting Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge, Shay Given and Nigel De Jong on the books of the Blues.

Stoke City

Getty Images Mark Hughes manager of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Stoke City at John Smith’s Stadium.

Sparky’s most successful managerial spell was with Stoke City he joined in 2013 on a three-year contract. He took over from his fellow Welshman, Tony Pulis he had felt like he had to prove himself after a disappointing spell at QPR.

The first thing he did was release six players from the team and award Jeremaine Pennant with a new contract.  

In his first game, he lost 0-1 to Liverpool. The first win was against Crystal Palace 2-1 at Britannia stadium, this was followed by 1-0 win over West Ham. In September 2013, Hughes brought Austrian striker, Marko Arnautović, from Werder Bremen, as well as Steven Ireland from Aston Villa on loan. 

 The next season Hughes signed Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell, from Fulham, and striker Mame Biram Diouf. A few other players arrived too, like Bojan from Barcelona and Slovakian defender, Dionatan Teixeria, while wingers Victor Moses and Oussama Assaidi joined on a season long loan.

Hughes started the season with mixed results. After losing 0-1 to Aston Villa on the opening day, the Potters would go on to draw 1-1 with Hull City, but also defeat reigning champions Manchester City, 1-0. 

Hughes signed a new contract on March 2015 until summer of 2019. They then went on a winning run against Aston Villa, Everton, Hull, but then saw three straight defeats to the hands of West Brom, Crystal Palace and Chelsea.  

They ended the season with victory over Tottenham Hotspur (3-0), Southampton (2-1) and Liverpool (6-1). The 2015-16 campaign also saw quite a few players depart the club, as Asmir Begović, Steven Nzonzi and Robert Huth all left the Brittania.

 On the other hand, Hughes spent a record transfer of £12 million on Inter Milan and Switzerland winger, Xherdan Shaqiri. He also brought in Ibrahim Afellay, Shay Given, Glen Johnson and many more. They had poor start to the season not winning their first six games.  

They recovered though winning their three matches against AFC Bournemouth, Swansea and Aston Villa. The form continued into November and December defeating Premier League champions Chelsea, Manchester City, Southampton and Manchester United. 

This would be short lived, however, as Stoke made a poor start to the 2017-18 season. Hughes’ position was coming into criticism throughout out the season from supporters, with their poor run of form including a (3-0) thrashing at home from West Ham.  

After a 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup to League 2 side Coventry City, Hughes was eventually relieved from his duties.

Stoke had the worst defensive record in the Premier League having conceded a total of 47 goals, nine more than West Ham who had the second worst record. 

After leaving Stoke City Hughes had a short spell with Southampton but having been out of work for few years.

Mark Hughes makes a return to football to manage Bradford City  

Former Stoke, Blackburn and Manchester City manager Mark Hughes replaces Derek Adams. After a run of nine wins in 37 games with a winning percentage of 24.3%, this is the lowest percentage out of his career. 

Bradford is sitting 15th in League 2, sitting 11 points clear of the relegation area. Hughes’ first game in charge will be against Mansfield on Saturday at home.  

Hughes said: “I am really pleased to be here and am looking forward to the role, and the job in hand.” 

This appointment may come across as strange to some, because few years ago, Hughes was in the Premier League now, he’s in League 2 and it shows anything can happen in football. This will give Bradford lots of confidence going into rest of the season to try end it on a high note. 

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