English Premier League club Stoke City announced on March 26 that manager Mark Hughes has signed a contract extension which will keep him with the side until 2019. The former manager of Manchester City and Wales joined the team in May of 2013 and has them sitting in 10th place in the league this season with eight games to go. Hughes said he and the club began contract negotiations back in January since his previous deal was set to expire at the end of next season.
Hughes told Stoke’s official website, “I’m delighted to have signed a new contract. I think it’s exciting times for Stoke City. Everyone can see there’s more progress to be made and we want to see how far we can take the club. I came here 18 or so months ago and it’s gone as well as I could have hoped – we’ve certainly kept progressing which is vitally important from my point of view. This season has been more difficult than last season due to circumstances, like injuries to key players, but we’ve still been very competitive and I believe we can do even better next season with a little bit more investment. Let’s see how far we can go.”
The 51-year-old led Stoke to their first-ever top 10 finish Premier League finish last season and is hoping to replicate the feat this year. Hughes also added, “Continuity is a huge thing in football, certainly in the Premier League, and hopefully the fact I’ve signed a new contract will give continuity to the club and, more importantly, the players because it helps them when they work with someone for a prolonged spell.”
Hughes is a former Welsh international forward who made a name for himself in English football with Manchester United. He scored 224 goals in 799 career club games and added 16 in 72 contests with Wales. He also had spells with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Everton, Southampton, and Blackburn. Hughes has also previously managed at Blackburn, Queens Park Rangers and Fulham and has a 40 percent winning mark.