Hughes out to win over doubters
Mark Hughes accepts there are doubters he needs to win over as he prepares to return to the Premier League as Stoke manager.
The former Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR boss is back in a top-flight hotseat after being named as Tony Pulis' successor at the Britannia Stadium.
The bright reputation Hughes established in his early managerial career, first with Wales and then with Blackburn, has been battered by the manner of his departure from his most recent clubs, particularly QPR.
Hughes spent just 10 months in charge at Loftus Road and, after only narrowly avoiding relegation in 2011-12, was sacked early into last season.
His appointment by the Potters was not universally welcomed by supporters but the Welshman is determined to win people round.
Hughes, speaking at a press conference to preview his side's season opener at Liverpool on Saturday, said: "I think maybe in recent times my previous work has been overlooked as a consequence of having an exceptionally poor start to last season.
"Hopefully we can redress the balance somewhat because it was a bit skewed in a negative way, people's perceptions of my ability as a manager.
"Every manager, when they come into a new environment and a new club, will have doubters, people that maybe don't take to you initially. It is up to you to win people over.
"You will always have people that, for whatever reason, don't like the way you look or don't like the colour of your hair.
"There is not a lot you can do about that, it happens.
"I would like to think once they understand what I am trying to do here and the type of football we want to produce, we can turn a few round."
After the turmoil of QPR, where an expensive overhaul of the squad failed to arrest poor form, Hughes is grateful for the stability of Stoke.
Since winning promotion in 2008, the Potters have established themselves in the Premier League with a reputation for solidity on and off the field.
The 49-year-old said: "This is an outstanding environment to try to build a football club. Everything is in place.
"In the past I have probably been guilty of getting bogged down in the detail of trying to build a football club, and build the environment that supports a team.
"I have probably been guilty of spreading myself too thinly and losing a bit of focus on what actually counts, which is making sure the team and the players are absolutely spot on and ready to go.
"I have been really impressed with the attitude and application of the players. It is a pleasure to come to work.
"Every single day we give them the work they need and invariably they are asking for more work afterwards.
"There are not too many occasions in the past when I have had that situation.
"Having had a different experience at previous clubs, this is like a breath of fresh air.
"It was difficult at QPR. We were trying to build a club and a team as well.
"A lot of things were happening in a short space of time and there were a lot of distractions away from what is fundamentally my job."
Hughes is promising to make changes to a team that, while tough to beat, has a reputation for direct and physical football.
But he said: "It is important that we don't think we have to change radically.
"All I am doing is allowing players to express themselves a little bit more than they were allowed to in the past.
"That is not to say that was incorrect in the past, because the club was very successful when Tony Pulis was here."
The Stoke squad has been bolstered by the signings of defenders Erik Pieters and Marc Muniesa this summer while an agreement is in place for United States striker Juan Agudelo to join in January.
Hughes said: "We are still working on targets.
"At this moment in time we are probably experiencing a bit of frustration that we haven't managed to get anyone else over the line.
"Ideally you want your targets in the door a couple of weeks before the season starts so you can bed them in.
"That hasn't been possible for whatever reason but we will get there. There is more than enough time to get more players in."