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Robi is smiles better for the boss

Robinho 0809

Robinho 0809

Robinho has re-affirmed his high regard for Mark Hughes and his intention to remain at the heart of the manager's Blues revolution despite a sometimes difficult first season in English football.

The Brazilian star, a club-record signing from Real Madrid in the summer, has been the focus of speculation and criticism as his goals dried up and questions were raised about his performances away from home.

But Robinho's smile was evident again after his first goal of 2009 - and 13th of the season - helped beat West Brom 4-2 on Sunday and kept alive manager Hughes' bid to finish the Premier League campaign with seventh place.

He said: "The manager gives me total confidence, and he and the whole team help me to produce my best football for the club. That goal gives me a lot more confidence to score more in the matches that we have left."

The transfer rumour mill will begin working overtime in the coming weeks and as a world star, Robinho's name is certain to be linked to other clubs, but Robi is clear that he is happy at the City of Manchester Stadium.

He said: "There are no regrets on my part about coming here. Of course this is only my first year, and I try to get better and better every year. Hopefully in the future I will be even happier at this football club.

"My relationship with the manager is very good. Our manager is a very good manager, an excellent manager. Of course expectations are high over how the team will do. But my aim is to remain here for a long time to come."

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Craig Bellamy Man City vs Newcastle 0809

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Wayne Bridge 0809

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