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Hughes avoids axe as Man City owner vows to stick with boss for next season
Published : 18 May 2009 09:15:29
Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has confirmed Mark Hughes will remain as manager next season. Hughes' position has been the subject of intense speculation since the Abu Dhabi United Group, headed by Sheikh Mansour, became owners. Al Mubarak was keen to put the record straight before City's last match of the season on Sunday against Bolton at Eastlands. 'I have been surprised at all the speculation because I have always been consistent with everyone on the subject of the manager,' he said. 'Every time I have spoken I have said we have the highest confidence in Mark and I would like to re-iterate that now. Mark will be our manager next season; nothing has changed.' Despite spending vasts amounts on transfers - including a British record £34million on Robinho last summer - City's hopes of a Europa League place ended at the weekend with defeat at Tottenham. But Al Mubarak believes the club have made progress, and said: 'It has been a difficult season with all the rumours about Mark's future and the number of players we have been linked with. 'There has been incredible and unnecessary pressure put on Mark from outside the club. From my perspective, I think we have come a long way and I am looking for a big finish to the season. 'We have accomplished things since January and now we can start focusing on next season.' Al Mubarak is convinced City will improve next season. He said: 'This is a club that has had 10 managers in 15 years and changes of ownership. It is hard to believe we have ever had a real pre-season. 'This time we will have that and will do so with a year's experiences behind us and that will make us stronger. Next year is going to be better than this one. The club has a lot more stability.'