Mark Hughes has been told he must lead Manchester City into the top six next season - or face the same fate as predecessor Sven Goran Eriksson.

The Guardian says Hughes, whose appointment was confirmed yesterday, has been left in no doubt that City owner Thaksin Shinawatra will not tolerate anything but a concerted effort to gatecrash the Premier League's "big four".

Thaksin's refusal to countenance anything less led to Eriksson being paid off after one season and Hughes will be under even more pressure given the amount of money at his disposal this summer.