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Hard stuff the right measure for boss

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

City Chief Mark Hughes believes that a double ‘Scotch’ will prove the ideal aperitif for the rigours of the new season.

The Blues have announced a pre-season programme that sees his men play in the prestigious Vodacom Trophy in South Africa before completing preparations by taking on Barnsley and Glasgow giants Rangers and Celtic in the space of a week.

Hughes believes six or seven matches is the ideal number to get everyone up to speed for the opening day of the campaign

He has taken his squad to Germany this week before they head off to South Africa and the Vodacom Challenge.

“There are number of top class tournaments in the summer and for us to be invited to this one is a feather in our cap,” he declared. “I played in South Africa in the 1990s and the games with the Chiefs and Pirates were always competitive and the crowds big and noisy. The people really impressed me with their love for the sport.

“There is no real time difference so we are not compromised with changing time zones so we should be jet lag free. That is a bonus and the climate will be in our favour too because they will still be in their winter.

“We have good quality matches waiting for us when we get back and to face Rangers and Celtic within four days of each other will be a test and I expect the three games in that week will give everyone a chance to get some game time.

“We also know that the atmosphere in terms of the crowd in the two games against the Scots sides will be terrific. That is important too because it will help us prepare for the intensity of the first game of the season at Rovers.”


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City's first team squad, minus some of its internationals who have been given an extra week’s holiday, headed for Germany this morning for some intensive pre-season preparation and a low profile warm up match with 1860 Munich.

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