Gallery: Mark Hughes's managerial career

By SFC Media Thu 15 Mar Mark Hughes

Take a look back at the coaching career to date of Mark Hughes as the Welshman takes the reins at Southampton at First Team Manager.

Hughes came agonisingly close to beginning his managerial career with a historic World Cup qualification campaign.

Having defeated group winners Italy en route to a two-legged play-off with Russia, the Dragons just came up short as they were beaten by a solitary goal over 180 minutes, extending a 50-year wait to reach a major tournament.

Hughes’s first venture into club management took him back to Ewood Park for his first Premier League job.

In a four-year reign, his 44% win rate remains the best of any Blackburn boss in the top flight since Kenny Dalglish, who famously led the club to the Premier League title.

Hughes led Rovers to three successive top-half finishes, three cup semi-finals and into the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.

Manchester City soon came calling, recently taken over by Thaksin Shinawatra, who he led to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in his only full season at the Etihad Stadium.

Signings Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Nigel De Jong became the backbone of the City team who won the title two and a half years after his departure in December 2009.

Hughes then led Fulham to an eighth-place finish – still the second-highest league position the club has achieved in its history.

In January 2012, he took up a very different challenge just three miles north as manager of QPR, who had only four wins from 20 league games up to that point.

Six victories from the remaining 18 matches was enough to preserve their top-flight status, but the team were unable to build on that upturn the following season.

After six months out of the game, Hughes returned to begin the longest tenure of his management career to date, at Stoke, who were yet to register a top-half finish since earning promotion to the Premier League five years previously.

Hughes soon changed that, and was credited with introducing a more attractive style of play as he led the Potters to three successive ninth-place finishes and a League Cup semi-final berth.

His Stoke tenure concluded after exactly 200 games in charge (71 wins) with a shock FA Cup defeat to Coventry. Stoke have won only one of their eight games since.

Today, two decades on from his first arrival as a Saint, Hughes returns with the same mission to help steer the club clear of danger.

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