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Could Stoke City manager Mark Hughes make the step up to a top-level club?

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has transformed the club's playing style while improving seasonal performances.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has transformed the club’s playing style while improving seasonal performances.

Following Stoke City’s convincing 2-0 win against Manchester United on Monday night, a lot of talk centered around manager Mark Hughes and how far he could go in his coaching career given how well things are going with the Potters. The Welshman is in his third season with Stoke, and boasts a highly creative and attacking quartet, while currently occupying a 9th-placed spot in the table at the mid-point of the campaign.

Leading the club to consecutive 9th-placed finishes in 2013/14 and 2014/15, while improving on their record points tally in the Premier League each time, Hughes has certainly been a vindicated appointment after taking over from the successful Tony Pulis, and now many believe the 52-year-old deserves a chance with a more elite outfit in the Premier League to prove his worth.

Showed some positives at Man City

Hughes was part of the major transformation at Manchester City in 2008 and 2009, signing notable players such as Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta, but ultiately struggled to balance so many personalities and styles into one cohesive unit over the course of a season. He enjoyed some success on home soil, as well as a deep run in the Capital One Cup, but lost his job due to poor form.

His sacking at Man City saw successor Roberto Mancini eventually go on to win the title after lucrative financial backing, but many believe Hughes could have been in a similar position had the club trusted him. He’s work with Stoke is evidence enough that he can improve the fortunes of a side in time, and as a result he finds his name being linked with a host of jobs in the Premier League.

Sharing traits with Sir Alex Ferguson

As a manager who combines substance and style, building a team on strong defensive foundations and worth ethic, as well as a ruthless attacking outlook going forward, Mark Hughes is 28/1 to be the next Manchester United manager, but such talk is without founding. He’s happy at Stoke and feels he can take them into Europe slowly but surely.

The calibre of talent at the Britannia Stadium has improved each season and their form does not waver with the new faces. Hughes has balanced the team out brilliantly to ensure they don’t lose their physicaly superiority, but also allows real creative freedom when the forwards are attacking. Sir Alex Ferguson was similar to Hughes in some of his coaches traits, and the latter will have obviously learned a lot playing under him for United in the past.

So could Mark Hughes manager at a top-level club in the near future? Which side would he be a good fit for?

Wed 30 Dec, 2015
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