"If you look at the other managers around me in the league, a lot of plaudits are given to them and I don't get many," said Hughes. "The point I'm making is that the other managers in similar positions to us have been given accolades for the jobs they have done, and rightly so. Roy Hodgson at Fulham has been mentioned as a possible for manager of the year. Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke at West Ham have done a great job and got four-year contracts while Harry Redknapp has been labelled a miracle workerat Tottenham because he has dragged them up the league. I am just the one in the middle."
Hughes went on to say the criticism was "predictable and understandable" given that City had spent in excess of £100m on players under his stewardship, as well as making a world-record £93m bid for Milan's former world footballer of the year Kaka, but he also pointedly remarked that his own work could be put on a par with Redknapp. "He's done a good job, similar to the one I've done myself. He just gets a bit more credit than I do, but there you go."
Not really. Redknapp inherited a worse team than Hughes did (eight games into the season, too, rather than in June), in which time he's spent less money on them than Hughes has on City - and he now has Spurs in a higher position than us in the league. Regular readers will know how supportive I am of the Hughes project but the argument for his staying next season has always been that he remains the best long term choice, rather than that he deserves another year in reward for the great progress he's made in his time in the job thus far.
I know it's a cliché but the league table doesn't lie and we're no better than we were last season, despite the money invested throughout the club. So for Hughes to suggest he's done a really well so far doesn't quite ring true. Because with only two games left we're getting ever closer to hearing from the board whether or not Hughes will be in charge next season, and until we hear definitively from the chairman one way or the other we still can't quite be sure.