Mark Hughes has confirmed that he was not informed he was going to be sacked prior to Manchester City's Barclays Premier League victory over Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.
Hughes' reign as City boss came to an end in the immediate aftermath of the 4-3 win, with the club's Abu Dhabi-based owners announcing Roberto Mancini as his replacement. His demeanour during and after the win at Eastlands indicated he was aware of the board's decision to terminate his contract prior to the game, but Hughes has confirmed that was not in fact the case.
In a statement issued by the League Managers' Association, Hughes said: "I was informed after Saturday's match against Sunderland that my contract with Manchester City was being terminated with immediate effect."
He added: "Notwithstanding media coverage to the contrary, I was given no forewarning as to the club's decision.
"Given the speed with which my successor's appointment was announced, it would appear that the club had made its decision some considerable time ago."
Hughes added that he believed firmly that he had the club on target to achieve their pre-season expectations, with City lying in sixth place after just two league losses all season at the time of his sacking.
"I am extremely disappointed not to have been given the opportunity to see through my plans at the club," Hughes continued.
"At the beginning of the season I sat down with the owners and it was agreed that a realistic target for the season would be sixth place in the Barclays Premier League, or in the region of 70 points.
"All of this was communicated to the players and we all knew where we stood.
"Whilst everyone at the club would obviously have wanted to see more wins, we were absolutely on target at the time of my dismissal. Only recently we had terrific victories against both Arsenal and Chelsea."
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