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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 16:03 UK

Speed backing Hughes for Chelsea

Mark Hughes is regarded as a promising young manager
Mark Hughes is regarded as a promising young manager

Gary Speed believes former Wales team-mate Mark Hughes would be a refreshing choice as manager of Chelsea.

Blackburn boss Hughes is said to be on the Blues shortlist along with Roberto Mancini and Luis Felipe Scolari.

"I think it's brilliant that a Welshman is linked with such a high profile job when you think most of the candidates are from abroad," Speed told BBC Wales.

"It would be a refreshing change to give it to someone like Mark Hughes who is a very innovative young manager."

Hughes has impressed during his three-and-a-half year spell at Ewood Park, guiding Rovers to seventh in the Premier League last season.

Earlier this year, the former Chelsea striker was one of the front-runners to succeed Sam Allardyce as Newcastle manager before Kevin Keegan took the job.

Sheffield United midfielder Speed played alongside Hughes for Wales in the late 1990s before Hughes took over as manager of the national side.

When Hughes quit as Wales boss in 2003 to join Blackburn, Speed called time on his own international playing career.

Avram Grant was sacked as Chelsea boss after eight months in charge at Stamford Bridge and just three days after last week's Champions League final defeat.

Other names said to be in the frame for the job include former Juventus coach Didier Deschamps.

see also
Hughes & Mancini on Chelsea list
28 May 08 |  Chelsea
Chelsea boss - latest gossip
29 May 08 |  Chelsea
Grant sacked as Chelsea manager
24 May 08 |  Chelsea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales

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