One year on: How former Everton, Wigan Athletic and Burnley man has revitalised Portsmouth’s fortunes

John Mousinho has lauded Rich Hughes’ rejuvenating influence as he celebrates his first year at Pompey.
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Mousinho believes Hughes has shaken up the club’s football operation, and made huge improvements since his arrival from Forest Green.

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Last week marked one year on from the former Everton, Wigan and Burnley man’s arrival at PO4 being confirmed, before he started his role in October. Mousinho feels Hughes’ influence has quickly been felt in terms of recruitment and overhauling the football setup at Pompey.

He said: ‘Rich is coming up to being in his role for a year. Massive credit goes to him for what he’s done in that short space of time. I’m sure everyone has seen what he’s done in the two transfer windows he’s had as sporting director so far.

‘I thought it was a really successful transfer window in January with the two permanent signings. I know Ryley (Towler) is not playing at the moment, but everyone knows what he’s about and he’s an excellent player.

‘Then with Paddy came in alongside two Championship-level players in Matt Macey and Di’Shon Bernard. On top of that, there’s everything he did in the summer and all the other bits around the football club Rich has improved.

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Pompey boss John Mousinho and sporting director Rich Hughes, who was announced as sporting director a year ago last week.Pompey boss John Mousinho and sporting director Rich Hughes, who was announced as sporting director a year ago last week.
Pompey boss John Mousinho and sporting director Rich Hughes, who was announced as sporting director a year ago last week.

It was Hughes’ influence which brought Mousinho to Pompey in January, as the former Oxford man makes a bright start to his managerial career. The 37-year-old highlighted how Hughes’ duties have been particularly significant in allowing him to focus on the job of getting things right on the pitch.

He added: ‘Rich has been amazing.

‘It’s very easy for me to forget Rich is a couple of years younger than me, because he’s so experienced in everything football related. It’s like he’s seen it all and there’s a really good mix with the two of us.

‘Rich has seen everything has seen it all on the football and recruitment side, he’s done the lot at every level of the game. It’s really good to mix it in with my background playing.

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‘We’re very aligned in how we see football, though we don’t always agree which is perfect. We don’t agree on everything, but we’re very aligned on our outcomes and what we want to see.

‘He’s been huge for me, because I’ve not had to do with 90 per cent of what other managers and head coaches have to deal with. Some of those things consume your time and take you away from coaching the team, so that’s really helped me settle in and have the start we’ve had.’