Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Hughes: City struggle improved me

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes believes he is a better manager for his tough experiences at Manchester City and has vowed to remain true to his own principles in the rest of his career.

Hughes was sacked as City boss last year after failing to deliver the club's cash-rich owners the instant success their investment required. After several months out of the game, the 46-year-old replaced Roy Hodgson at Fulham this summer.

He now says he felt relieved when his Eastlands spell was over and he told the Daily Mail: "It's good to be at a club now where I am not being pulled in different directions. I toed the party line more than I should. I compromised my own values more than I should. It won't happen again but I'll say this: it has made me a better manager."

He added: "Eventually, I understood it was a feeling of relief that it was over (at City). I wasn't enjoying it there at the end. I had no bitterness, no regrets, but I was relieved to be away.

"How was I treated? At times, I had support. At times, I needed support and I didn't get it. And then there were times when support that was there was withdrawn...especially towards the end."

Hughes was replaced at City by Italian coach Roberto Mancini, and although Hughes got the Fulham job only because Hodgson was appointed Liverpool manager, the Welshman insists there is still a reluctance among top clubs to appoint British coaches.

"Top clubs won't appoint British managers because we don't have trophies," said Hughes.

"I watch some of the teams in the Champions League, with managers who have won trophies, and I know I can set up a team to beat them.

"Competing in the Premier League is more difficult than winning trophies in plenty of countries abroad.

"Who is the better manager...one of these Champions League guys with a trophy from Holland, France, Switzerland and places like that - or me, in this league, the hardest, most high profile league in the world?"

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