Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughHugh's the Man - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Hugh's the Man - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Hugh’s the Man

Having recently been instated as Birmingham City boss, Chris Hughton has been handed the task of guiding the Blues back to the big time – a feat he succeeded with Newcastle United just two seasons ago.

The Magpies themselves were going through less affluent times, and Hughton knew the pressure he was under. The English-born Irishman was burdened with accountability to nearly 50,000 season-ticket holders. Throughout that campaign and beyond, Hughton demonstrated a calm managerial style in which he brushed off pressure to elevate the Magpies to a stable Premier League position.

Now he must do it all again, but does he have what it takes to satisfy another group of supporters and more importantly, with immediacy? On whether Birmingham can bounce back at the first time of asking, Hughton said:

“I hope so. All I can do is work as hard as I can over what will be a very difficult season.

“There are so many good teams now, so many teams that will be striving to get out, as the teams showed last season.

“So we’ll do everything we can do to put enough things in place to give us a good enough opportunity to be able to do that.”

With an impressive CV under similar circumstances, it would take a brave man to bet against the Irishman having a successful season in the Midlands. His time with Newcastle however, was blessed with strength and depth within the playing squad, in stark contrast to his thinning Birmingham City squad.

The Carling Cup winners are now paying the price for their success over recent seasons. Chris Hughton will see little of the parachute payments received following relegation as the funds are redistributed to settle the effect of the club’s demise.

In search of Premier League football, many players have voiced their desire to leave the club. Having already lost Craig Gardner to Sunderland, Hughton will be keen to keep hold of the remainder of the club’s stars. Recent reports are linking defenders Scott Dann and Roger Johnson away from the Second City and will not come as welcome news to the manager.

Hughton has made his first signing as Blue’s boss in a bid to bolster his squad. Adam Rooney has joined the Blues on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract at Inverness.

Rooney, rather ironically, is not the big name Birmingham fans were hoping for, while other favourites for promotion have moved quickly to snap up proven players at this level. Most notably Kevin Nolan, who top scored in Newcastle’s promotion season under Hughton, has dropped a league to join Championship rivals West Ham.

Though Hughton’s ultimate goal will be to bring his side back to the Premier League, pressure to provide quick results can sometimes hinder the process. David Pleat, who managed Hughton while at Tottenham, has moved to inject a sense of realism around the St. Andrews club.

“Will they be competitive and get promotion? I don’t think they will, no. But in view of the present troubles, I think people will be sensible in their judgments,” Said Pleat.

The new Birmingham boss faces a very difficult task in giving the fans what they want, but his resolute style has the potential to work wonders at the club. Though he’s not known for capturing big-name signings, his dealings within the transfer market have been shrewd over recent years. With the right balance of players combined with his renowned calm approach, Hughton has every right to believe he can disprove his former manager.

Tom Dutton

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