LONDON: Stoke City have appointed Mark Hughes as manager – an appointment signalled shortly after the club parted company with Tony Pulis early last week following the end of the Premier League season.
The 49-year-old former Wales boss has been out of work since being sacked by Queens Park Rangers last November.
As an uncompromising striker Hughes scored more than 200 goals for Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. After guiding Wales as manager to a World Cup qualifying play-off, he entered club management with one his former clubs, Blackburn, with whom he earned European spot.
Manchester City lured him away in June 2008 but he was unable to deliver tangible success despite heavy investment and was replaced by Roberto Mancini in December 2009.
Fulham offered him a route back into football in the summer of 2010 and he guided them to eighth in his first season before resigning, citing a desire to better himself.
His next job was at QPR, though, and he took over a side looking to stay in the Premier League at the first attempt. He managed to achieve that after replacing Neil Warnock in January 2012, but was sacked 11 months later after failing to move the side away from the bottom of the table despite healthy backing in the transfer market.
Pulis spent seven years at the Britannia Stadium, leading them into the Premier League and establishing them over four successive seasons. However, despite an FA Cup Final appearance, fans grew impatient with a style of play which was effective rather than entertaining.