Fulham v Stoke City: Mark Hughes on familiar ground as he returns to Craven Cottage

The Welshman admits he made a mistake leaving the Cottagers in 2011

Mark Hughes believes he has found a club similar in spirit to Fulham as he prepares to return to Craven Cottage with Stoke this weekend.

Hughes resigned as Fulham manager in the summer of 2011 in the hope of furthering his career but now admits he made a mistake.

The Welshman's next employment came at QPR in a dismal and chaotic 10-month spell that culminated in his sacking.

He is now bidding to resurrect his managerial career at the Britannia Stadium and feels comfortable in surroundings that remind him of Fulham.

The 49-year-old said: "In terms of the club and the people they are very similar - top quality people, good people to work for.

"They are clubs that are trying to be in the top half of the Premier League, that is what we are trying to do and Fulham will be trying to do that again.

"They are clubs that have established themselves for a long time in the Premier League now.

"You reap the benefits of that in terms of being able to invest and move forward. That's what Fulham and Stoke have done."

Hughes has made an encouraging start with the Potters and has earned praise for the style his side have played in, contrasting with the direct and physical game typically associated with them.

The past fortnight has brought setbacks however with defeats to Arsenal and, of more concern to Hughes, Norwich.

Hughes said: "We didn't really see that coming. Until that point we had been very good in terms of performance level.

"We didn't hit anything like the levels we had before.

"It was a disappointment but in the Premier League the games come thick and fast and we have an opportunity now to put that right against Fulham."

Hughes has not been back to Craven Cottage since his departure from the club but clearly still has affection for the London outfit.

He expects a tough game there and is surprised Fulham have started the season poorly, having collected just four points from their opening six Barclays Premier League games.

Hughes said: "They had a disappointing result, like we did, last time out but we are under no illusions that it won't be a difficult fixture for us.

"Fulham's home form in the last few seasons has been really strong.

"I don't really know why they haven't been able to knock results out at home.

"Craven Cottage is one of the great football grounds of the Premier League, it's got its own unique atmosphere and that has helped Fulham in the past.

"But at the beginning of the season there are a lot of disruptions and the league hasn't really settled down yet, with international breaks and the transfer window.

"Fulham are one of many teams that will think things will settle for them and they can continue to progress and move forward.

"We have played well in our away games - Arsenal, without getting a result, and at West Ham, where we were excellent.

"So our trips to London have been okay to this point. We hope we get another positive result."

One difference Hughes will notice at Craven Cottage is that the unpopular statue of Michael Jackson has now been removed.

Hughes was manager when then chairman Mohamed Al Fayed had his controversial sculpture of the late singer erected, but new owner Shahid Khan has taken it down.

Hughes said: "That was a personal thing from the previous owner and it was something that was important to him. I think we should always respect that.

"But it was never really embraced by the fans at Fulham and they're probably pleased that it is no longer there."

PA

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker