From official site this morning :-
MARK HUGHES has been given a top-six target for next season by Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak as the club prepares for the next step in the challenge to join the Barclays Premier League elite.
With this season's final match against Bolton still to come, manager Hughes and Chief Executive Garry Cook have already sat down with the Blues supremo to discuss their shared ambitions to finish the 2009-10 campaign with a ticket back to Europe.
UEFA Cup quarter-finalists City can still finish ninth on Sunday after missing out on an instant return to Europe with the 2-1 defeat at Spurs, and the Chairman said: "I think a reasonable target next season is the top six.
"I think people see me as a reasonable and realistic man, and I think given what we have done this year and the ambitions we have this summer, a top-six finish next year should be a reasonable and achievable target.
"There will be money for new players this off-season. The areas in which the team needs us to invest are clear. We need more depth and to fill the weaker areas within the squad and plans are already advanced.
"I have been talking to Garry and Mark for weeks now. We are pretty clear on what we want, and I am clear on what Mark has identified as the areas that need to be supported, and we will step up.
"We all know we are not going to splash money around, because that model, that formula, doesn't work. You're not going to buy 22 new players and then the next year you win the Premier League.
"It needs to be done sustainably, with quality management, quality infra-structure and a quality manager by the pitch. That's what we are doing. The players will come, and the results will come."
But while Hughes will sign "more quality players" this summer, Khaldoon stressed that the Academy, which has produced stars such as Stevie Ireland and Nedum Onuoha, has a major role to play in the future.
He said: "We will not forget the Academy. It is key to our discussions. We have to be able to create that nice balance between a quality, strong first team with depth but at the same time retain the ability to bring in young, talented individuals.
"We have all seen what they (Ireland and Onuoha) have done since geting in the side. They have had fantastic seasons and there are more within the Academy. We need a good platform to bring the young lads into the team.
"Garry has done a wonderful job bringing in some incredible talent that will help take us forward. We have grown a lot as a team, and Mark has grown too. The foundations are in place for a very strong second season."
I think that's more than realistic and it's set the benchmark that the manager and squad need to achieve.
Over to you Hughes !