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Hughes WILL remain as manager

"I have been surprised at all the speculation, because I have always been consistent with everyone on the subject of the manager. "Every time I have spoken, I have said the we have the highest confidence in Mark, and I would like to re-iterate that now. Mark will be our manager next season - nothing has changed".

There you have it.

As unequivocal as you could get, and a necessary statement given the continued rumours.

Interesting that the belief is that this season has been an important step in the clubs evolution, with 'growing pains' an unfortunate by product of the changes that have occurred:
"When you consider how things have gone since January, I think we have accomplished things and now we can start focusing on next season.

"For once this club can have a pre-season. This is a club that has had ten managers in 15 years - it is hard to believe we have ever had a real pre-season.

"So this time we will have that, and we will do so with a year’s experiences behind us. That will make us stronger. I think next year is going to be better than this one. The club has a lot more stability."
A stable pre-season is not something I can remember - certainly since I started this blog - and I don't think its significance can be overstated and something that I will believe we will see the benefit of next season.

Interesting though that the statements supporting Hughes have brought much of the anti-Hughes feeling back to the fore and the question of his tenure is an issue that has polarised opinion like nothing that I can recall before.

It does leave you with the impression that regardless of what maybe achieved, he may never quite receive the full backing of the support as a whole.