Football: Hughes extends Stoke contract to 2018

LONDON (AFP) - Mark Hughes has extended his contract as Stoke manager until 2018, the English Premier League football club announced on Friday.

The former Wales and Manchester City boss has been at Stoke since May 2013 and has guided them to 10th in the Premier League this season.

Hughes revealed he had entered talks with the club over a new deal in January, with his existing contract due to run out in 2016.

"I'm delighted to have signed a new contract," the Welshman told the club's website.

"I think it's exciting times for Stoke City, everyone can see there's more progress to be made and we want to see how far we can take the club.

"I came here 18 or so months ago and it's gone as well as I could have hoped - we've certainly kept progressing which is vitally important from my point of view.

"This season has been more difficult than last season due to circumstances, like injuries to key players, but we've still been very competitive and I believe we can do even better next season with a little bit more investment. Let's see how far we can go."

The 51-year-old took the Potters to their first top-10 finish in the Premier League last season and could repeat the feat this year, although they have lost their last two games.

And the manager is hoping securing his future will help the club.

"Continuity is a huge thing in football, certainly in the Premier League, and hopefully the fact I've signed a new contract will give continuity to the club and, more importantly, the players because it helps them when they work with someone for a prolonged spell," he said.

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