STOKE CITY Football Club are delighted to confirm the appointment of Mark Hughes as the Club's new manager.
The 49-year-old has penned a three-year deal at the Britannia Stadium just nine days after Tony Pulis departed following a seven-year spell in charge.
The Welshman, who has enjoyed a glittering career as both a player and manager, has been out of work for seven months following a spell with Queens Park Rangers, for whom he kept in the Premier League in the first season following his appointment.
Speaking to the Club's official website, Hughes said that he is relishing the opportunity of working for a Club with such a fantastic infrastructure, and believes he is fully equipped to move the Club forward.
"The Coates family have given me a great opportunity to come into a fantastically run Football Club, with wonderful facilities, and hopefully continue the good work that has been carried out in recent years," he said when he was officially unveiled as manager.
"I am an ambitious manager and this is an ambitious Club. We want to become a consistent top ten Premier League Club, and I firmly believe that with an incredible amount of hard work we have a great chance of achieving that."
Hughes' appointment represents a major coup for the Club, for whom Chairman Peter Coates feels was the real stand-out candidate for the job.
He said: "We have thought long and hard about this decision, and we have the man that we feel is the right fit for this Football Club.
"Myself, my son John and Tony Scholes have given the decision a great deal of thought, and we have analysed to death Mark's career. We are satisfied that his CV is very, very impressive.
"We have analysed everything he has done, and we feel that he has a remarkably fantastic record as a manager."
He added: "We looked at what he did at Fulham, and Blackburn in particular. They are similar Clubs to us in many ways, and we feel that he is coming here into a similar environment."
A further announcement regarding Mark Hughes' backroom staff will be made in due course.