Belfast Telegraph

Hughes starts work at Fulham

Mark Hughes could be set to raid his old club after being confirmed as Fulham's new manager.

Hughes, who has agreed a two-year deal with the Cottagers, will appoint his own regular backroom staff that includes assistant Mark Bowen, Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwiecki.

The Welshman faces a number of dilemmas. Firstly, goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is a target for Arsenal and Hughes will need to pull out all the stops to persuade him to stay. Left-back Paul Konchesky has been linked with a move to Liverpool while Hughes will turn to former club Manchester City to try and land Craig Bellamy, Stephen Ireland and Roque Santa Cruz.

Fulham's first-team coach Ray Lewington, who was caretaker manager following Roy Hodgson's departure to Liverpool, is expected to stay after being assured there is a place for him at Craven Cottage. Goalkeeping coach Mike Kelly is expected to leave for Liverpool.

Hughes acknowledged Hodgson's success, most notably taking them to the Europa League final last season, but declared that he already has a vision for the next stage of Fulham's future.

"I have discussed my aspirations with both the chairman and (chief executive) Alistair Mackintosh and believe that we are aligned in our aims for what can realistically be achieved here," Hughes told the club's official website.

"I am joining on the back of two of the most successful seasons in the club's history and that in itself brings with it the challenges of expectation and ambition.

"I am confident that with some additions to the squad, hard work and commitment, we can move this club forward in the right direction.

"I hope the Fulham fans will enjoy some special times during this season's campaign and we will work hard to achieve that.

"I'm looking forward to working with the squad as soon as possible, and making sure the on-pitch preparations are complete before the first competitive ball is kicked in August."


From Belfast Telegraph