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Hughes hits back after City sacking

Hughes said he was given no clue by City's owners that he was about to be sacked.
Hughes said he was given no clue by City's owners that he was about to be sacked.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mark Hughes 'extremely disappointed' to be sacked as Manchester City manager
  • Hughes said he was given no warning he was about to be replaced by Roberto Mancini
  • Welshman also claims he had a target of finishing in the top six in the Premier League
  • Mancini will be unveiled as City manager at press conference on Monday
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(CNN) -- Mark Hughes hit back after being sacked as Manchester City manager on Saturday saying he was "extremely disappointed" and had no idea he was about to be shown the door.

The Welshman has been replaced by Roberto Mancini despite a thrilling 4-3 home victory over Sunderland, but was clearly unhappy with the manner of his dismissal in a statement he issued 24 hours later through the League Managers' Association.

"I was informed after yesterday's (Saturday's) match against Sunderland that my contract with Manchester City was being terminated with immediate effect," Hughes said.

"Notwithstanding media coverage to the contrary, I was given no forewarning as to the club's decision.

Man City take huge gamble on Mancini

"Given the speed with which my successor's appointment was announced, it would appear that the club had made its decision some considerable time ago.

"I am extremely disappointed not to have been given the opportunity to see through my plans at the club," the Welshman added.

Hughes was also puzzled to be replaced despite being on track to achieve the target set by the club's Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour of sixth place in the Premier League.

Saturday's win left City in sixth place and they are also in the semifinals of the English League Cup, chasing a first trophy since 1976.

I am extremely disappointed not to have been given the opportunity to see through my plans at the club
--Mark Hughes

""Whilst everyone at the club would obviously have wanted to see more wins, we were absolutely on target at the time of my dismissal.

"Only recently we had terrific victories against both Arsenal and Chelsea."

Hughes' version appears at odds with the statement released by City's owners to justify their reason to dispense with his services.

"A return of two wins in 11 Premier League games is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed and set," said City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

"Sheikh Mansour and the board felt that there was no evidence that the situation would fundamentally change."

Former Inter boss Mancini will be officially unveiled on Monday at a news conference.

His first task will be to re-assure his first team squad, with reports in Sunday's newspapers claiming a players' delegation led by Craig Bellamy and Shay Given had confronted the City board after the decision.

The club's Abu Dhabi owners splashed their cash in the off-season as Hughes was given the green light to spend $185 million in signing Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott, having paid a British-record $52 million on Brazil star Robinho in August 2008.

Mancini will be assisted by former Manchester United player and coach Brian Kidd, who steps up from his role with City's youth team.

Hughes gave no clue in his statement as to his next intentions, but could return to club management soon.