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Mark Hughes happy to play down link to Chelsea job


Familiar face: Mark Hughes scored 25 goals for Chelsea

Familiar face: Mark Hughes scored 25 goals for Chelsea

Familiar face: Mark Hughes scored 25 goals for Chelsea

Stoke boss Mark Hughes admits it is "nice" to be linked with Chelsea but has stressed it is just speculation and that he is "very happy" in his current job.

Reports this week have suggested the Welshman, who scored 25 goals in 95 appearances for Chelsea, is among several managers the Blues are considering as they look for a permanent successor to Jose Mourinho, with Guud Hiddink in interim charge.

Hughes- whose side lost on penalties in Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Liverpool, are ninth in the Premier League and face Crystal Palace in the fourth round of the FA Cup tomorrow - said: "It's just speculation.

"There is a little bit of speculation about certain roles in the Premier League, and at some point, if you have a decent spell, you get mentioned. I think it is no more and no less than that. I think everyone just tries to cover all bases and mentions everybody, and this week I got a mention.

"It's nice to be mentioned, because that reflects well on me but more so on the players and how well they are doing.

"But we are fully focused here and enjoying what we are doing.

"It is a good time to be at Stoke. Everybody feels we are going in the right direction and building something. So I'm very happy."

Hughes - whose own contract with Stoke runs until 2019 - also dismissed talk of the club preparing to enter talks with forward Bojan Krkic over a new deal.

"I'm not sure where that's come from," Hughes said. "Bojan has two-and-a-half years left, so it seems a little premature."

Stoke will be without midfielder Charlie Adam tomorrow.

Adam was forced off in Tuesday's contest with a calf tear and is facing six weeks out. Ryan Shawcross, who was ruled out for up to a month by a back problem, is making good progress.

Belfast Telegraph