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EXCLUSIVE: Stoke will continue to flourish under Hughes - Orlando City chief Rawlins

Phil Rawlins suggests Stoke City will continue to make progress under the guidance of manager Mark Hughes.

The Welsh tactician has the Potters playing with a new-found freedom in 2015 which has seen them move into the top half of the Premier League table having lost just once in their past five outings.

In 2013/14, Stoke finished ninth under the former Manchester United striker and are now beginning to look like a team who can surely kick on and push up the standings.

They are certainly the sentiments of Orlando City SC president Rawlins, formerly a Stoke director, who is of the belief that there is a bright future for the Staffordshire outfit.

"I've got a tremendous of time and respect for Mark. He's a really good manager and on top of that he is a great guy as well," Rawlins told tribalfootball.com.

"I think you see that the players respond to that. They play with a lot of passion and joy and you can tell they are enjoying playing for him and playing the way he plays.

"I'm not at all surprised that he has been successful (so far this season) and I think he will push on and be even more successful with them.

"It's a combination of different things as well - we shouldn't forget (director of football) Mark Cartwright's role in all of this. Mark's a great eye for talent and the two Mark's together work very well together as a team.

"The future is very bright for Stoke right now. When you look at the likes of Bojan (Krkic), (Marc) Muniesa, (Philipp) Wollscheid - there are some quality players there.

"And in the system they are using, I think they are just going to flourish. I do expect Stoke to go on and have a really good period of success playing good football."

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