quote

First Team News

Video 1 Gallery

We came up short, admits boss

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes fears he will need a head count going into the UEFA Cup quarter-final in Hamburg on Thursday after Wayne Bridge and Vincent Kompany limped out of a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Arsenal at The Emirates today.

England left-back Bridge has a recurrence of his hamstring injury and Belgian midfielder Kompany might have a slight tear, while manager Hughes is praying Stevie Ireland - missing today - can make good progress with an ankle injury.  
 
City were undone by a tremendous return performance after a three-month absence from star midfielder Cesc Fabregas and a two-goal comeback from Emmanuel Adebayor to avenge Arsenal's 3-0 defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium in Novembr

Hughes admitted: "Those players coming back just added to the quality Arsenal already had, and they both made an impact as well. It was disappointing - losing a goal so early and so poorly from our point of view was always going to make it difficult for us.

"We lost key personnel very early and had to rejig things. We just lacked a bit of physical presence to dictate to the opposition. They are a big athletic side who are able to get around the pitch. As the game wore on, we found it more and more difficult in that respect."

Blues might have made a different game of it but Micah Richards and Gelson Fernandes - who hit the outside of a post - both missed opportunities after unmarked Adebayor had headed City behind after eight minutes.

Hughes said: "That was our best spell and a decent response, but you need those chances to go in. Gelson didn't realise how much space he had, turned quickly and got a shot off against the post.

"If that had gone in we would possibly have made a better fist of it. But I just sensed that we lacked a little bit of presence on the field to enable us to ask a good Arsenal side enough questions from 1-0 down."

First Team News

Johnson comeback hurts so good

Michael Johnson 0809

Mark Hughes has revealed that highly-rated prospect Michael Johnson must be prepared to play in pain when he is finally able to step back from his six-month struggle to overcome a mystery pelvic and groin injury.

First Team News

City life appeals to SWP

Shaun Wright Phillips 0809

Shaun Wright-Phillips has admitted that he would be happy to sign up for life at the City of Manchester Stadium as the Blues Revolution picks up pace under manager Mark Hughes.

First Team News

SWP simply the best, says boss

Shaun Wright Phillips 0809

Mark Hughes goes into the sharp end of City's exciting two-fronted campaign hailing danger man Shaun Wright-Phillips as being among the best signings he has ever made.