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Fulham loses spark as Hughes quits

Mark Hughes has quit as manager of Fulham amid speculation he could be targeted by Aston Villa as a replacement for Gerard Houllier.Despite the rumours, Hughes – who guided Fulham to eighth in the English Premier League last season – denied he had been approached by another club.

“I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that neither myself nor my representative have approached or have been approached by another club,” Hughes said.

“This decision to leave Fulham has not been influenced by any outside party.”

Welshman Hughes will work until the end of June at Craven Cottage before being free to join another club.

Despite a worrying run of results over the Christmas period, Fulham responded well under Hughes to finish four places higher than they achieved in 2009/10. The club also qualified for the Europa League by finishing top of the Premier League’s fair play table.

Hughes, formerly in charge at Blackburn and Manchester City, said he had enjoyed his time in London.

“I would like to thank the chairman, directors, players and fans of Fulham football club for their support over the last 12 months and wish them every success for the future,” he said.

“I have especially enjoyed an excellent relationship with the chairman and chief executive.”

“I believe my management team and I have done a good job and the club has a strong foundation from which they can go forward.”

“I sincerely wish Fulham a successful campaign in the Europa League next season and for their continued progress on and off the field.”

Article title: Fulham loses spark as Hughes quits

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