Hughes tips Ireland as future Manchester City captain
Mark Hughes has tipped Stephen Ireland as a future Manchester City skipper.
Hughes confirmed he had handed Kolo Toure's the captain's armband yesterday in the wake of Richard Dunne's move to Aston Villa.
Toure did the job at Crystal Palace and Portsmouth immediately before the international break and has emerged from a clutch of alternative candidates, including Gareth Barry, Shay Given, Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong.
Ireland also made the shortlist after impressing Hughes during parts of the pre-season campaign when Dunne was missing.
And, as a short-term replacement for Toure will be required in January when the Ivory Coast star heads off to Angola for the African Cup of Nations, Ireland may get another chance to hone his captaincy skills before, at some stage in the future, getting the job full time.
"Stevie really enjoyed having the armband back in pre-season and I am sure in future he will be a Manchester City captain," Hughes told www.mcfc.co.uk.
"It is pleasing that we have so many characters and personalities in the group, all of whom could have taken the role."
Meanwhile, Hughes has defended executive chairman Garry Cook in the wake of Dunne's exit.
The popular Republic of Ireland star accused Cook of trying to sell him behind his back and claimed he was ignorant of the "core loyalty" in football.
However, Hughes sees a different side to Cook's character and questions Dunne's assessment.
"It is a little bit unfair to highlight Garry and his perceived role in discussions," said the City chief.
"It wasn't as if Richard was forced out of the club.
"He was the only one who signed a piece of paper to change from being a City player to an Aston Villa player."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview