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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 11:46 GMT
Hughes gets FAW backing
The FAW hope Hughes will not be packing his bags
Football Association of Wales general secretary David Collins insists there is no doubt that they want Mark Hughes to continue as national manager.

Hughes expressed uncertainty about his role following Wednesday's heart-breaking Euro 2004 exit at the hands of Russia and said that the decision on whether to continue was out of his hands.

"I certainly hope that Mark is there for the 2006 World Cup campaign, he's taken us forward in leaps and bounds," Collins told BBC Sport Wales.

"Mark is contracted with us for another two years and he has said that is what he wants to do, but you would have to ask him whether that is still his intention.

"It will take Mark and his management team some time to analyse what happened and put things in place for the World Cup campaign.

"We need to regroup and build again."

The Russian disappointment hit Hughes hard
I really don't know whether Mark will walk away
Hughes' Wales assistant Mark Bowen
Collins said that the failure to qualify for Portugal had cost the FAW at least 3.5m, but insisted that belt tightening would not affect the national squads.

The FAW have given Hughes every backing and resource he asked for during his time in the Welsh hot seat and it seems clear that they are not about to withdraw their support.

Hughes will meet the FAW top brass at a scheduled meeting on Friday to discuss the past qualifying campaign and plan for the future.

The question must remain, though, of whether Hughes still needs Welsh football.

His close friend and former assistant Mark Bowen was ambivalent.

"It's a very difficult time for Mark and for everyone concerned with Wales," said Bowen. "It shows the humility of the man that he says his Wales future is out of his hands.

"He has an excellent relationship with his players and staff, but at the moment Mark is taking stock of things.

"I really don't know whether he'll walk away. Whatever he does, he'll go away and consider it with friends, family and players before reaching a decision."






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