Mark Hughes started work at Queen's Park Rangers yesterday and revealed he intends to use his experience under Manchester City's owners to help his relationship with Tony Fernandes.
Having overseen the City team shaped by Sheikh Mansour's millions, his new task is pleasing the Premier League's newest – and most frequently heard – owner, whose views are often aired on Twitter during or straight after matches. "I've been through that before so I'm sure it will help me because, in fairness, I made mistakes with new owners last time and I understand that," he said.
"The lines of communication and the different layers of management, I found that difficult to navigate at times but I'm happy with the structure here. The owners are passionate about what they are trying to do here and they are very accessible. I only have to pick up the phone, or look at Twitter.
"We will possibly have a discussion about it but I'm not in a position to say anything. I think it's great he engages with the fans and he has passion for the fans and the businesses he has around the world."
Fernandes and Joey Barton, who will retain the captaincy, are among the most prolific users of Twitter in the Premier League but Hughes was satisfied he could work within the club's structure. He did not meet Fernandes face-to-face during talks at the start of the week, but communication with the chairman and chief executive, Philip Beard, will be key in bringing in the players the new manager wants.
A central defender is required and Chelsea's Alex is a target. "There is interest in top-quality players and [Alex] is very much in that level," Hughes said. "We would hope to bring that quality of player to the club if it was possible."
Chris Samba at Blackburn and City centre-back Nedum Onuoha are also players Hughes is looking at, and he is hoping to bring goals to a team that has struggled to score regularly. "There seems to be a better quality of player available in this window," added Hughes, who ruled out an audacious bid for Carlos Tevez despite sharing the same adviser as the City forward. "I already have [asked]. But my transfer budget isn't that high. I think that one's off the scale," he said.
Hughes, who signed a two-and-a-half year contract, talked positively about leaving a legacy at Loftus Road despite his relatively short deal. "I'm looking for longevity now and staying for an amount of time I can really make an impression," he said.Reuse content