Manchester City striker Robinho is brimming with confidence
From Pied Piper to shoeshiner, Robinho has a goal celebration for every successful finish, but having already set himself a personal target of 30 goals this season it seems he may have to dream up some more.
The confidence which was in evidence during the Brazilian’s hat-trick against Stoke on Sunday was borne out by a personal target which would see him overtake the record that 24-goal Fernando Torres set last season for the most goals in a debut Premier League season by a foreign player. Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s 23 was the best before that.
"My main objective is that the team does well, but my personal objective is that I achieve 30 goals," said Robinho, whose six leave him one place behind the league’s top scorer Amr Zaki.
"I'm happy, but not completely happy because I still have a lot to give and to learn. I'll be happy if we have achieved a good season at the end of this season. I have a lot more to give but also a lot more to learn. I hope to score many more goals in the Premier League."
For Mark Hughes, the difficult decision is when to rest his £32m man but for now the temptation to play him everywhere but in the Carling Cup (the defeat at Brighton is the only game he has missed) seems irresistible.
"He wil get stronger as a consequence of playing in the Premier League," Hughes said. "Just by virtue of playing week in, week out he will develop exponentially. There will come a point where maybe his form will dip.
"Given the way he approaches training I can see him maintaining his standards from start to finish."
Hughes will be without Robinho’s compatriot Jo for tonight’s visit to Middlesbrough. He has tonsillitis.
Young Welsh striker Ched Evans will probably miss out too following a knee injury with Daniel Sturridge likely to deputise