Sparky expecting to stay on at City

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes says he is confident his future at Eastlands is secure, and that he has already done enough to prove to the club's cash-rich owners that he is the man for the job. The former Manchester United and Chelsea striker still has two years remaining on his current contract. However, rumours persist that he will be axed in the summer due to the Blues' patchy performances and results away from home. But the word from city’s Abu Dhabi owners is believed to be positive. “My future is that I have two years left on my contract here. I’ve not been banging on doors for a new one. But I think the owners are pleased," he said. "The view was to make progress and we’ve done that as a team, the chairman understands where we are.” Sparky has set his side two targets to reach between now and the end of the season, finishing eighth or better in the Premier League and reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.

City face Danish side Aalborg on Thursday night, bidding to protect a 2-0 lead from the first-leg and progress to the last eight. “The targets are set by myself and my staff. This club has never been higher than eighth in the Premier League era," he said.

"We like to think we can get close to bettering that. It [the club ] hasn’t got to a semi–final in recent years so if we can better that maybe we’ll get a bit of credit for it.

"But we’ll have to wait and see whether we do. But we are doing OK and people can see we’ve improved as a team and a squad.”

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