Mark Hughes to be appointed Stoke manager 'by end of the week'

Former QPR manager set for return to the Premier League

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The Independent Football

Stoke City will appoint Mark Hughes as their new manager by the end of the week according to the BBC.

The former Manchester City, Fulham and QPR boss will succeed Tony Pulis at the Britannia Stadium.

According to the BBC, talks have gone well and leading figures at the Premier League club see the Welshman as a good fit.

The appointment would represent something of a coup for Hughes who was sacked by QPR midway through last season. Despite huge investment in playing staff during his tenure at Loftus Road, the club were rooted to the foot of the table when he was sacked. Despite changing the manager, the west London club were relegated at the end of the season.

Hughes' previous role had been at Fulham, where he spent one year before leaving in search of a club with more 'ambition'. Prior to that he had been sacked by Manchester City, spent an impressive four years at Blackburn Rovers and managed the Wales national team.

How his appointment at Stoke will be greeted by fans remains to be seen, although chairman of Stoke City's Supporters Club, Bryan Shaw, said he did not expect it to be universally popular.

"From all the people available, he would not have been my first choice, although he has a reasonable record apart from at QPR," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"Not a lot of supporters wanted Tony Pulis back - that wasn't a popular decision because of his style of football. Probably half of the fan base was against him at first but he won the majority over. There is a feeling Hughes is similar.

"If you ask the majority of Stoke supporters, Mark Hughes would not be their first choice. That said, whoever the chairman appoints we have to get behind. We just have to hope he proves us wrong."

Pulis, who had retained Stoke's Premier League status for five years, was ousted at the end of a season in which the club flirted with relegation and were criticised for their style of play.