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Nedum's personal best

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Nedum Onouha 0809

Nedum Onuoha has hailed the changes brought in by Mark Hughes this season that have seen the defender finish the campaign so strongly.

The 22-year-old sat out much of the early part of the season through injury, but after returning to full fitness he has been a first-choice pick in central defence and has been touted in some circles as a possible option for the senior England squad.

Despite the fact that City cannot now qualify for Europe, Nedum insists that much can be drawn from what has happened since the manager took over a year ago.

"From my point of view, this is probably the best City side I have played in," declares Nedum. "I know we have not finished as high as we did a few years ago under Stuart Pearce, but this season we have got to the quarter-final of a competition that perhaps we would not have come close to achieving back then.

"In terms of a side to play in, this is the best team I have played in and everyone can see the potential of the side. It's been put together by the manager, but there's also been the input of the coaches. We have learned a lot and everyone is very happy."

Nedum started the first competitive game of the Mark Hughes era against EB/Streymur way back on 17th July, and he says that the boss's new approach has helped him hit the best form of his career.

"It has been a long season," he adds, "but some of the ideas that he put forward to me and some of the other players at the start of the season have kept us going right through until now. I don't know how many seasons I have finished fit, let alone playing, but I have been playing for six months straight now and I have not had the slightest problem. That is something that perhaps would not have happened in the past."

Nedum is set for a busy summer with the Under-21 European Championships on the horizon, and the team spirit on both international and domestic fronts will lessen any impact that a gruelling campaign could have.

"I have been very lucky this year because the two teams I have played for, both the 21s and City first team, have had the best player atmosphere I have ever been involved in. In years gone by there would have been one clown or someone who disrupts the atmosphere, but in both places it's absolutely perfect. This is a great place to play," concludes Nedum.

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Onwards & upwards for Nedum

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Nedum Onuoha is determined to put his disappointment at City's failure to qualify for Europe behind him as he seeks to help the Blues improve their league position next season.

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Chairman backs Hughes for bright future

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Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has left no room for any doubt over Mark Hughes' future by reiterating that he has complete faith in the manager's ability to steer the club to greater heights next season.