Stoke assistant manager Mark Bowen is relishing the start of the new season and predicts an improvement under Mark Hughes.
Bowen has rejoined Hughes for a fifth time at the Britannia Stadium, having previously been part of his backroom staff at Manchester City, Fulham, Blackburn and QPR.
Hughes was appointed as Stoke manager on May 30 with Bowen named soon after, and the 49-year-old cannot wait to meet the squad and begin preparations for the new campaign.
“I’m settling in very well,” he told the club’s official website. “It has been a hectic few weeks; when Mark joined the club I was just in the process of packing my bags to take my wife and family on a summer break.
“I had the break and spoke to Mark a few times during his initial few weeks at the club.
“Since I’ve been back I’ve been to the training ground three or four times now and have got a real good feel for the place.”
Despite Stoke finishing 13th last season under former manager Tony Pulis, the 55-year-old stepped down at the end of the campaign, with frustrations from some sections of the club’s support at a perceived lack of progression.
However, Bowen was quick to praise the work done by Pulis during his seven years at the helm, and predicted that the stability within the club would enable the new management team to deliver further improvements.
“To everybody on the outside it certainly looks like a very well-run and stable club and one that is hopefully on the verge of big things,” he added. “That’s the impression I’ve been left with from the time I’ve spent at the training ground and from speaking to people here.
“It shines through that there’s a very real feeling that the club can go forward and progress. There’s a steadiness about the place.”
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