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Mark Hughes - from player to coach
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Wales manager Mark Hughes
Being a manager can be a lonely job

Manchester United legend Mark Hughes traded in his shorts and socks for a collar and tie when he became Wales coach.

And now he's taking up his first Premiership post at his former club Blackburn Rovers.

So how do you go from being one of the boys to being the boss?

Here Mark Hughes reveals how he made the transition from player to coach.

Wales manager Mark Hughes

Getting the Welsh job was a bit like being thrown in at the deep end.

I'd never even managed a club side before - so it was a case of learning on my feet.

It was difficult to begin with - not just for me but for the players too.

For example, I'd played alongside Ryan Giggs at Manchester United as well as at international level.

One minute the players are your team-mates, the next you're telling them what to do.

I went from sitting among the players, criticising the manager - to actually being the manager!

I can understand how some people have found it a difficult transition to make.

But I was lucky with Wales because the players wanted me to succeed. They could have made things a lot more difficult for me than they did.

Hughes and Eric Cantona were a Manchester United double act
As a player Mark Hughes has been there, done that.

I was always a player who thought deeply about the game.

And I've drawn a lot on my experiences as a player since I took over as manager.

I've tried to change things to do with preparation and organisation that as a player had irritated me.

I've been lucky enough to play under many great managers.

People like Sir Alex Ferguson, Glenn Hoddle and Ruud Gullit.

I'd like to think I've taken something from each of them.

But I've never tried to be a carbon copy of any of the managers I've played under.

It's important to be your own man - the players respond to that.

They'll soon pick up on it if you're false or trying to be something you're not.

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Hitting the Mark
Mark's nickname is Sparky
After managing Wales on a part-time basis for three years, he took up the job full-time in July 2002
He is the only player to win four FA Cup winner's medals
He was twice voted PFA Player of the Year, in 1989 and 1991

Mark Hughes facts
Born: 1 November 1963
Place of Birth: Ruabon, near Wrexham, North Wales
Teams: Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Everton, Southampton, Blackburn Rovers
Man Utd debut: 30 November 1983, v Oxford
Trademark: Bicycle kick

:: Blackburn move for Hughes

:: Football Association of Wales

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