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via ESPN Soccernet.

John Terry believes the Chelsea players would welcome Guus Hiddink or Mark Hughes as the club’s new manager.

Carlo Ancelotti was dismissed at the end of the campaign after Chelsea ended the season empty-handed, and there have been a number of names linked to the post including Andre Villas-Boas, Marco van Basten and Harry Redknapp.

However, Hiddink – who impressed when taking over from Luiz Felipe Scolari at the end of the 2008-09 campaign – is thought to be the leading candidate, having suggested he is ready to walk away from Turkey.

Blues captain Terry has now said that, while the players will have no sway over the decision, they would be happy to see Hiddink take charge.

“There’s a lot of speculation out there at the moment,” Terry told an England press conference ahead of the team’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland on Saturday. “I was very sad to see Carlo go. He was a great man, a great manager and supported me a lot over the [England] captaincy. Having done the double for the first time in Chelsea’s history, that is something that will live with the club, live with him and the players forever. We then pushed Manchester United so close for the title this season after being out of the race realistically for three months and before turning around that form. I was disappointed to see him go. It’s out of the players’ hands – it’s a club decision. The manager and the players respect that. But we are looking forward to the new manager coming in and hopefully getting that trophy [the Premier League title] back.”

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via Sky Sports.

Mark Hughes has decided to leave Fulham after just one season at the helm, paving the way for him to take charge of Aston Villa.

Hughes replaced Roy Hodgson at Craven Cottage last summer and enjoyed a solid first year with the club, recovering from a slow start to guide Fulham to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League.

However, he has now parted company with the London club after expressing a desire to fulfill his ambitions elsewhere.

The Welshman had already been installed as the favorite with bookmakers to succeed Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa and his resignation now makes a switch to the Midlands appear inevitable. Villa announced on Wednesday that Houllier would not remain in his role after experiencing health concerns towards the end of the season.

Hughes has made it clear, however, that he has not received an approach and that his decision to quit Fulham was not ‘influenced by any outside party’.

“I hope the supporters and all those connected with the club will understand I wish to move on to further my experiences,” he said. I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify that neither myself nor my representative have approached or have been approached by another club. This decision to leave Fulham has not been influenced by any outside party.” Hughes added: “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 in the future.”

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via ESPN Soccernet.

Fulham have been awarded a place in next season’s Europa League after their performance in UEFA’s Fair Play table.

The club’s next campaign will now have to kick off on June 30 – just 39 days after the Premier League season ended – after UEFA gave Norway and England an extra place in the competition based on results from all UEFA club and international matches played over the season.

Mark Hughes’ side had just one player sent off in league matches all year – that happened in the very last game leading to suggestions that relegated Blackpool could pip them to the spot.

Chelsea finished top of the Fair Play League but had already qualified for the Champions League and Fulham were in second spot.

The Premier League said in a statement:

”Fulham FC has finished the season as the highest placed club in the 2010-11 Fair Play League that has not already qualified for UEFA competitions via the 2010-11 Barclays Premier League. The club will take the additional European place awarded to England and compete in next season’s UEFA Europa League.”

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