Cape Town - Former
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes backs current boss Pep Guardiola to
lead the club to Champions League success but admits it will be "more
of a challenge" than he's faced before.
Guardiola won the coveted European trophy twice with Barcelona in
four years but wasn't able to replicate that in three seasons in Germany
with Bayern Munich.
And speaking ahead of their Premier League clash at the Etihad on
Wednesday, the Stoke City boss insisted his counterpart had the quality
to take City all the way, while hoping for a big result after losing 4-1
to City the last time they met.
He was reported in the Stoke Sentinel as saying: 'They're ahead of
schedule in my view. They've thrown lots of resources at it. They've got
a phenomenal set-up in terms of the training ground, everything's in
place for them to be successful over the next 10, 15, 20 years.
'They will be judged on what they achieve in terms of trophies in
cabinets. To win the Premier League is clearly a huge thing, but the
next thing is the big European trophy.
'That will be the challenge for them. That's clearly why they've
engaged somebody such as (Pep) Guardiola, who's been there and done it.
'I wouldn't say it's a given, because all the teams in the latter
stages of the Champions League have got huge resources to do the same
things that City want to do.
'He (Guardiola) has always had the top job in each country (at
Barcelona and Bayern Munich). Either that or the second top job,
depending on how you view Barcelona and Real Madrid.
'Man City are maybe one of the top four, which is different from
Spain or Germany. Bayern Munich get challenged by Dortmund on occasions,
but apart from that, the rest of them can't really challenge for those
main positions, which is different from the Premier League, which is
more of a challenge.'
Hughes added that his side could play a role in the Premier League
title race over the next few weeks, as he eyes an unlikely win.
'We face Man City and Chelsea in our next two games, so we might have
a say in it. City away is difficult. Chelsea at home is difficult.
We've beaten City at their place in the past, and we've beaten Chelsea
at home, so I'm not saying we can't do it,' he explained.
Kick off is at 22:00.