Hughes admits mistake in leaving Fulham

REUTERS - Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has admitted that he made a mistake when he resigned as Fulham boss in 2011.

The 49-year-old Welshman decided to leave Craven Cottage after being heavily linked with the vacant job at Aston Villa but his next managerial position was an unsuccessful 10-month spell at Queen's Park Rangers.

"I left (Fulham) under something of a cloud," Hughes told a news conference on Thursday ahead of Stoke's Premier League game at Fulham on Saturday.

"At the time I made the decision to leave because, given what I knew and what I thought was going to happen in the future, I couldn't commit to a new contract.

"With hindsight, it was probably the wrong decision.

Hughes said he had had doubts about the investment Fulham were prepared to make to improve their squad.

"I interpreted that as maybe the club didn't want to keep on progressing," he said.

"Obviously, almost immediately after I left they started investing in good players and spending some money, so I probably got that wrong."

Hughes, sacked by QPR just 12 games into last season, was appointed by Stoke in May to replace Tony Pulis and his team are 15th in the Premier League table after six matches.

The former Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea striker started his managerial career with the Welsh national team before spells in charge of Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.

(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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