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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Who will succeed Hughes?
John Toshack would bring a wealth of experience to the Wales job
Mark Hughes' decision to quit Wales and take over as Blackburn manager means the Football Association of Wales needs to consider potential replacements.

Since his appointment in 1999, Hughes has restored pride and led Wales to within sight of the Euro 2004 finals.

Hughes will oversee Wales' next two World Cup qualifying games, against England and Poland, before stepping down.

But after that Wales will need a new manager to take them through the rest of the qualifying campaign and beyond.

After casting their net far and wide, the FAW finally came up with a short-list of four candidates to be interviewed for the job.


The 55-year-old Anfield and Wales legend has perhaps the most impeccable credentials.

He started his 24-year managerial career at Swansea, taking them from the old Division Four to the top flight.

He also has experience of managing on the continent, including winning the 1990 Spanish league with Real Madrid, on top of three spells as Real Sociedad boss and stints with Deportivo La Coruna, Besiktas, St Etienne, Catania and Real Betis.

But there are some at the Football Association of Wales who recall how he walked out on his country after just one game in control 10 years ago.


Saunders was a British record transfer in 1992 when he signed for Liverpool from Derby County for 2.9million.

The 40-year-old former Wales striker is now part of Graeme Souness' backroom staff at Newcastle, having followed him from Blackburn.

Although praised by Souness for his coaching, he has the least managerial experience of all the contenders.

Saunders could well be a Wales manager in the making, but it is probably too soon for him to make that step.


The former schoolteacher has been linked with a string of jobs since being sacked by Liverpool last May.

He has experience at the very top levels of football, having managed France at senior and youth levels.

His first job as a manager came in 1976 as he took the reins at Noux Les Mines, followed by success at Racing Club Lens and Paris Saint Germain.

Houllier would bring a wealth of experience to the role but may not be ready to return to management just yet.


The well-travelled Frenchman is known as the 'White Witch Doctor' after his success in Africa at club and international level.

He coached South Africa in their first World Cup appearance in 1998 and then led co-hosts Japan to the second round in 2002.

Most recently a coach of Qatar, he has been short-listed in the past for the Republic of Ireland and Scotland jobs. He has also started negotiations with the Ghana FA to take charge of their national side.

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