In Profile: Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes
© PA Photos
Queens Park Rangers become the fifth team to be managed by Mark Hughes. Here, Sports Mole takes a look at 'Sparky's' coaching career to date.

Queens Park Rangers have announced the appointment of Mark Hughes as the club's new manager, just 48 hours after sacking Neil Warnock. For Hughes, the Loftus Road opportunity has presented him with his fourth management job in the Premier League, and his fifth during his coaching career.

With that in mind, Sports Mole takes a look at 'Sparky's' management stints.

A proud Welshman, Hughes's first coaching job came when he was placed in temporary charge of the country alongside Neville Southall in 1999.

Southall soon left the post, but Hughes stayed put and impressed enough to earn himself a full-time contract with the Welsh Football Association.

His task of making Wales a competitive nation once again looked near impossible, but during his five-year stint in charge he almost guided the Dragons to Euro 2004, with only a loss to Russia costing them a place in the tournament.

Hughes's disappointment brought with it fresh opportunities and Sparky opted to take over Blackburn Rovers in September 2004 - the club he ended his playing career with.

His first year at the helm proved to be successful, guiding Rovers to safety as well as their first FA Cup semi-final in 40 years.

A team including the likes of Christopher Samba, David Bentley, Stephen Warnock and Ryan Nelson was then assembled and with it came qualification to the UEFA Cup.

The former Manchester United striker's work was not going unnoticed and in 2009 the blue half of Manchester came calling for his services. Rovers reluctantly agreed and Hughes had now crossed the Manchester divide.

His first season at Eastlands was largely unsuccessful, with a tenth-place finish only slightly brightened by a run to the quarter-final of UEFA Cup.

The second campaign saw wholesale changes made at the club, with City now in the hands of new wealthy owners.

Big-name players such as Robinho and Emmanuel Adebayor arrived but the positive results didn't, and Hughes was eventually sacked in December 2010 to be replaced by Roberto Mancini.

A six-month sabbatical followed, before Fulham came calling. It would prove to be a largely successful campaign for the Whites and Hughes, with the club qualifying for the Europa League.

However, Hughes departed Craven Cottage shortly after, claiming that the club failed to match his ambitions.

Aston Villa were heavily linked with Hughes during the summer, but they eventually opted for Alex McLeish.

Hughes wouldn't have to wait long for a job though, as QPR made a beeline for his signature two days ago.

Now he is faced with the challenge of keeping the R's in the Premier League.

Mark Hughes
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