Belfast Telegraph

Hughes stresses positive

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes insists record signing Robinho should not be singled out for his side's poor away performances.

The Brazilian playmaker was criticised for a lacklustre display in City's 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League last weekend.

City have won just once on the road all season in the league, but Hughes is keen to stress that £32million man Robinho is not the only player who should have fingers pointed at him.

Hughes said: "I think that applies to a number of players. But there is always an opportunity to put things right, to impress, in every game we play.

"That applies to every player in my team — it is not just Robinho (pictured) that needs to have a positive performance."

City's away record, however, has held up well in Europe — and it will be put to the test when they face Aalborg in Denmark tonight when they defend a 2-0 lead from the first leg of the last-16 tie last week.

Their advantage has seen City installed as favourites to win a competition which could yield their first major silverware since 1976.

Hughes said: "We think it is important for the standing of the team and profile of the club that we do well in Europe.

"We have paid the competition great respect. Maybe other (English) teams didn't do that - and as a consequence, they haven't progressed as far as we have.

"We would love to progress to the latter stages. We have placed quite a lot of significance on it."

Craig Bellamy has made a quicker than expected recovery from a knee problem but did not travel with the squad, and a return against Sunderland on Sunday is the next possibility.

Vincent Kompany faces a late fitness test on his troublesome toe.

Belfast Telegraph


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