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Respect the watchword for Hughes ahead of Hamburg

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes 0809

Mark Hughes is in a determined mood ahead of tonight's UEFA Cup quarter final first leg in Hamburg.

The Blues' European odyssey began nearly nine months ago on July 17th, and the boss has pledged that his side are set to give it everything in what will be their 15th match in the competition this season.

It promises to be a close encounter between two clubs that have taken the competition seriously from the outset, an approach that the City boss insists is the one that is the right one.

"You need to treat the UEFA Cup with respect," he states, "because it is a prestigious competition. You have to name strong teams.

"We have come a long road this season, and it would be crazy to give up now. Why not try and win?

"We want to be in Europe again next season. It is important for the profile of the club, because there is a big focus on us with new owners.

"We are probably fighting for seventh place in the Premier League, and that would probably be enough to qualify. But ideally we would like to qualify as holders of the UEFA Cup."

But it won't be an easy task, as City are facing the team that are only off the top of the Bundesliga on goal difference. The boss is aware of this, as he continues:

"This game against Hamburg has captured the imagination of a lot of people.

"It is a difficult tie for us, because they are playing very well. It is one of the most difficult games we could have had."

Micah Richards has echoed his manager's views, adding, "We are confident and ready for the challenge tomorrow. We will give 100% and hope to get a result. The important thing is to keep a clean sheet.
"The UEFA Cup means a hell of a lot to the players. We have come this far and don't want to give it up."

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Martin Petrov 0809

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Nedum Onouha 0809

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