21 Dec 2009

Sacked Man City manager says axing came as surprise

12:08 pm on 21 December 2009

The sacked Manchester City manager Mark Hughes says he was given no advance notice of his dismissal and accused the club's owners of lining up his successor behind his back.

Hughes was fired over the weekend, with the Abu Dhabi-owned club immediately appointing Italian Roberto Mancini in his place.

City have lost only twice in the Premier League this season but also won only two of their last 11 league games and Hughes says he was disappointed not to be able to see through his plans at what is now the world's wealthiest club.

City are sixth in the Premier League and still in the hunt for a top-four finish and a place in the Champions League.

They are also in the League Cup semi-finals, where they will play Manchester United over two legs.