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
James Rodriguez to Real Madrid: Would Colombian star fit in with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale?
William Carvalho to Arsenal? Gunners make new enquiry for £35m rated midfielder
Manchester United transfer news: More signings expected, indicates Ed Woodward
WWE Battleground 2014 results: John Cena and The Miz are the big winners on a night to forget in Tampa, Florida
Chelsea transfer news: Completed summer deals - including Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas
- 1 Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
- 2 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 3 Saneie Masilela, 9, marries Helen Shabangu, 53 years his senior, for the second time
- 4 UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
- 5 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains