Stabbed in the back 'Sparky Hughes tells Man City stars to finish the job

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London, Dec. 20 (ANI): Manchester City coach Mark "Sparky" Hughes has reportedly his shell-shocked stars to "finish the job" during a final dressing room speech last night.

In an emotive and powerful speech following the 4-3 victory over Sunderland, Hughes told them they were "a top-four team in the making".

Six players - including Craig Bellamy and Gareth Barry - immediately left the dressing room to demand an explanation from chief executive Garry Cook.

By then it was too late, with City refusing to reverse a decision that has been bubbling since the 1-1 draw with Hull last month.

City released a statement last night confirming that Hughes' final game in charge had been against the Black Cats.

Now Hughes will demand that the final 18 months on his managerial contract is paid up in full.

He was earning around three million pounds per season with huge bonuses built in for success.

His coaching staff, including assistant manager Eddie Niedzwiecki, coach Mark Bowen and reserve team boss Glyn Hodges will also demand severance pay.

After weeks of uncertainty at the club, Hughes was made aware yesterday morning that Roberto Mancini had agreed to replace him as City's manager.

He immediately took legal advice from the League Managers' Association, who told him to carry on as normal.

He had considered refusing to take charge of the team for the match, but LMA lawyers insisted that he must carry out his managerial duties according to the terms of his contract.

The City chief believes Cook, football administrator Brian Marwood and technical development manager Brian Kidd have stabbed him in the back.

According to a News of The World report, Cook emphatically told Hughes that his job was not under threat the day after they drew 1-1 with Hull last month.

Hughes is disgusted by his treatment, taking charge of the team for the final time yesterday when he knew he was about to be sacked.

He confronted Cook and Marwood before the game, accusing the pair of plotting his removal ever since their arrival at the club.

Hughes has certainly been undermined in recent weeks, only discovering that the club were actively seeking a replacement when his assistant Niedzwiecki informed him.

He was finished after that - a sitting duck until City could thrash out personal terms with Mancini.

Hughes's wife, Jill, cut a dignified figure in the directors' box, even though it was clear that she knew her husband was about to be sacked.

Despite her gracious manner, it was clear there was no love lost between her and Kidd when he took his seat for the second half.

Hughes finally drove away from the stadium late last night with a face like thunder.

Despite Sunderland's latest defeat, Bruce went on the front foot to defend his former playing pal.

He said: "It's a ridiculous decision, but nothing surprises me in football any more. (ANI)

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