De Jong happy with Hughes stay
Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has hailed the club's owners for keeping faith with Mark Hughes this summer. The former Wales and Blackburn boss was under scrutiny throughout last season as City failed to establish themselves in the top half of the table and finished the campaign empty-handed. However, the owners have so far shown no signs that they are looking to replace Hughes and De Jong feels that will be a major advantage this time around. "It's a good thing that the owners do not want to change the manager every season just because it's not working out in the short-term," he told The People. "They are trusting people and they have shown that trust in Hughes and also the team. That is good for all of us. "It helps us to be calm when we know everybody's eyes will be on us. "I'm really excited. Everybody is talking about Manchester City but there is a calmness in the team." There has been plenty of talk this summer about City finally having the chance to challenge Manchester United after their recent spending. And while De Jong feels City cannot be expected to compete at this stage, he is convinced that they can match their arch rivals in the near future. "If we don't work hard, we won't be able to compete with the big four," he said. "I hope we can challenge United but, along with Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, they have been at the top for many years. "Many people expect us to be up there in just one year but we have to be realistic - but in two or three years, why can't we compete with United?"
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