Mark Hughes is already preparing for a full tilt at the UEFA Cup as he settles in to his new post as Manchester City manager.
The Blues’ squad will return for pre-season training early next month with the first leg of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup taking place on July 17th.
Hughes knows all about the competition from consecutive seasons in Europe with previous club Blackburn over the last two years, so is well placed to know what resources he will need.
“It’s a long old season,” says Mark, “what with the Premier League and commitments in Europe as well. We hope to have a very good run in Europe if we can, that is so important for us to keep building as a club and to have recognition in Europe, so that will be a priority.
“The squad will have to have the resources to cope with the demands that will be placed upon it, you need depth to your squad, but it has got to be depth with quality.
“I need to have a real look at what’s here, the balance of the squad. Maybe some positions are overloaded, others might be a bit weaker. It’s a case of looking at the squad, making sure it’s as balanced as it can be and maybe supplementing it with some more good players.”
Having not worked with the players as yet, the Manager adds:
“The squad is strong but it’s early days yet. I have not had the opportunity to work with the players so far, I’ll need to see them train to work out what they are good at and what they are weak at, and then make a valid decision on where we need to go on the quality of what we have here.”
And will he be looking to add to the squad as soon as he can?
“We’ll look to do that. At this time of year there are opportunities to bring players into the club – but they have to be of the right quality and the right standard to improve what we already have here. It’s a good squad, but if good players become available we will try to add to it.”