Stoke City extends manager Mark Hughes through 2019

STOKE, England (AP) — Stoke manager Mark Hughes has signed a new contract through 2019.

Hired before the 2013-14 season, Hughes led Stoke to its first top-10 finish in the Premier League. The central England club is currently on course to repeat that feat, in 10th place with eight games to go despite being without striker Bojan Krkic since January.

"This season has been more difficult than last season due to circumstances, like injuries to key players, but we've still been very competitive," Hughes said on Stoke's website. "And I believe we can do even better next season with a little bit more investment. Let's see how far we can go."

Hughes, whose managerial standing took a hit during a poor spell at Queens Park Rangers, had a year to go on his current Stoke deal before signing for another two seasons.

"Hopefully the fact I've signed a new contract will give continuity to the club and, more importantly, the players because it helps them when they work with someone for a prolonged spell," Hughes said Friday.

The former Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United striker is in his fifth job in club management. After playing 72 matches for Wales, Hughes took charge of his national team in 1999 before managing Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham and QPR.

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