MARK HUGHES has vigorously defended his managerial record but admitted he faces a challenge to repair his reputation after ending his six-month exile by taking the reins at Stoke City.
Hughes was in bullish mood at Stoke's training ground yesterday against a backdrop of hostility from supporters, with his profile damaged following a turbulent 11 months in charge at QPR.
Hughes (49) has stayed silent while he has been criticised for a dreadful spell at Loftus Road, where he spent nearly £25m in two transfer windows before paying the price in November after a dismal start to the campaign.
He believes his brief tenure with QPR has drastically altered the public perception of him as a manager, with his critics ignoring past achievements with Blackburn Rovers, whom he guided to three successive top-10 finishes, Manchester City and Fulham.
Stoke have underlined their commitment to the Welshman by handing him a three-year contract and Hughes is on a mission to restore his credibility.
"I have felt the only way I could answer people was by getting a position that gave me an opportunity to work hard and show that what people were saying was incorrect," he said.
"That's what I've got here. My intention, for my own sanity, is to repair my reputation at Stoke City and stay here for as long as I can." (© Daily Telegraph, London)