English Premiership

Hughes: CL success is the challenge for Pep

2017-03-08 15:55
Mark Hughes (Getty Images)

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.

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