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First Team News

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Boss: The tie's not over

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes insists that City can shake off the disappointment of losing in the first leg of the UEFA Cup quarter final and turn it around in front of a full house at home next week.

The Blues' great start, courtesy of a Stevie Ireland strike in the first minute, was eradicated by a three-goal riposte from Hamburg. There are also fresh injury concerns, but the boss says that the defeat in Germany must be put firmly into the past.

He said, "The third goal obviously makes it difficult for us, but I have just said to the guys now that we have to think positive. We know we can score goals at home, but it was disappointing after scoring so early.

"Hamburg are a good side, they have had an outstanding season and we can see the reasons why. They were a threat at set-plays, and were a big & athletic side. At the end we had a lot of walking wounded, we didn't even finish with 11 men because it looks like Benji has re-ruptured his thigh muscle. We also had a few that were not at the peak of their powers because of injuries they already had.

"We just have to pick ourselves up, we have another game at the weekend that becomes really important for us, and then we will focus on the second leg. We do certainly do not think that the tie is over."

Reflecting on the stunning start to the game, Mark added, "It was an excellent goal and a great start for us, but as can happen you can almost score too early. It spurred them into action, and Shay had to make some great saves as well. We still had opportunities in the first half especially, and we showed that we can cause a very good Hamburg side a few problems. Certainly at home next week that is what we intend to do.

"We must make sure that we recover well now, get right through Sunday and hope can turn it around on Thursday."

Match Report

Hamburg SV v City 09-04-2009

Away Strip season 0809

City made the dream start in Germany when Stephen Ireland scored after just 38 seconds, but they now face an uphill battle after Hamburg put three past Shay Given, who also made a string of saves. But, we still have an away goal and a 2-0 win next Thursday would put the Blues into the semis.

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Respect the watchword for Hughes ahead of Hamburg

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Petrov return on the cards

Martin Petrov 0809

City's hopes of success in the UEFA Cup look set to be boosted by the return of Martin Petrov, manager Mark Hughes has stated.