City’s captaincy is one area that Mark Hughes will be making no changes to, with the Manager confirming that Richard Dunne will continue to skipper the side.
The 28-year-old Irishman retains the captain’s armband for the third consecutive season, and Hughes is delighted with Dunne’s reaction to the change in management at City over the summer.
“There was absolutely no reason for me to change the captaincy this season,” he states.
“It was important for me to understand Richard's contract situation when I arrived here and to get it resolved and now everyone is happy.
“I have been delighted with the response that Richard has made since he has signed.
“He has been part of this squad and this club for a long, long time and I felt it was important that we made sure he would continue to be a big part of things.
“The strength and the pace that he has at the back will be one of the keys to the way we play this year.”
Dunne is the longest-serving player in the City squad, and according to Hughes he provides a crucial link between the players and the new coaching set-up.
“Richard fulfils that role very well and will continue to do so,” the Manager continues. “ I have had a number of discussions with him and he understands where I am coming from.
“It is important that role develops and he puts the players' point of view from time to time. I think he is enjoying the work that we are doing - even if on occasion he is moaning and groaning a bit! He's not the only one in that respect,” Hughes laughs.
The players have a day’s rest after three intense weeks since returning for pre-season training, but Hughes is ready to take things up a notch ahead of Saturday’s friendly in Hamburg.
“The work has been very intense and is, by all accounts, not what the players here have been used to and it has been a very intense period so we will give them a short rest.
“We have to make sure the intensity is here but that they train in the correct quantities and then we can kick on again. Preparation at this stage is vitally important.”