Hughton not affected by Yeung

05 July 2011 02:24
irmingham manager Chris Hughton has described the money-laundering charges facing major shareholder Carson Yeung as a "side issue" for him.

Hughton is focusing on assembling a squad capable of challenging for a quickfire return to the Premier League.

Hughton is realistic about the possibility that some of the club's bigger names could leave the club in search of top-flight football this summer, with the likes of Scott Dann, Roger Johnson and Ben Foster being linked with moves away from St Andrew's.

Balancing any player departures with bringing in new faces of adequate quality is the top priority for Hughton, notwithstanding the news that Yeung stands accused of five counts of money-laundering totalling £59million.

Hughton said: "I'm very conscious of where we are at the moment and I look at that group of players and it would be a wonderful group to keep in this division for what will be a very tough season.

"No one can foresee what will happen, which players will come and go.

"But I'm realistic as to where the club is at this particular moment. There isn't anything I've come into that I wasn't aware of.

"We will have to wait and see what happens over this pre-season period.

"But we know that we want a squad come the start of this season that will be good enough to compete in this division."

On the subject of Yeung and what effect it might have on the club if he is found guilty on any or all of the charges, Hughton said: "They are very much side issues.

"With the amount of work we need to do on this side, the most important is we make sure we've got a good enough squad, that the players train well, that there is great communication between myself and the board.

"They are the most important things. Of course, it's news (Yeung's situation), and we are aware what the news is, but it has to be very much a side issue.

"Any business this club needs to do will, of course, be done and that's just the normal transactions that happen in a pre-season period and it certainly won't bother me."

Hughton is still hoping to prise Hibernian manager Colin Calderwood away from Easter Road to become his number two at Blues.

He said: "There has been speculation about Colin. We have had some dialogue with Hibs.

"Most people know my feelings on Colin. I brought him to Newcastle and he is someone I've known and worked with for a long time.

"We will see where that takes us but I am conscious of Colin's position - and he is their manager.

"But we have had some dialogue with Hibs. We will have to see where that takes us."

Source: Team_Talk