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Chiefs work out pleases boss

Mee and Zabaleta v Chiefs

Mee and Zabaleta v Chiefs

City's win over Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday pleased Mark Hughes - but he wants to move up another gear for Saturday's final Vodacom Challenge game in Pretoria.

Tuesday's 1-0 win, which came courtesy of a Stephen Ireland strike just on half time, saw a line up sporting several changes from last weekend, most notably the debut for summer signing Gareth Barry.

A typically assured performance from the 28-year-old drew praise from the Manager, as did the displays from the young central defensive pairing of Ben Mee and Ryan McGivern.

Mark said, "It was a pleasing result, it's always nice to win and I thought it was a good test because the Chiefs were a month into their preparations for their new season. Some of our guys have only had four days rather than four weeks, and that was a concern before the game.

"I thought we acquitted ourselves very well, there were a lot of plusses. Gareth Barry looked really assured, as I expected him to be. He recognised danger and nipped things in the bud quickly, and we had two young guys at the back that enjoyed the experience and looked very accomplished.

"Ryan and Ben have been around the senior squad for a year, but not within the senior group to travel away. That's part of their learning experience, they are comfortable in this environment and that's pleased me. Tuesday was an opportunity and it looked like they really enjoyed it."

While satisfied with Tuesday's performance, Mark expects the coming days' training and the inclusion of players yet to feature to take City up a notch at Loftus Versfeld next weekend.

"We've had more training, and two games now, so what you find in every pre-season like this is that as you put the work in, the performance levels go up. I'm fully expecting us to step up a level at the weekend."

Tuesday also saw Emmanuel Adebayor arrive in South Africa, and the Manager is delighted that he now has the chance to work with the striker as well as see him integrate with his new team mates.

"I've had a lot of respect for his ability for a long, long time and I'm delighted he has joined us. I think he's going to be a big player for us for many years to come, he comes over as a very gregarious guy, likes the company of other people and he will fit in very, very quickly."

Watch City in the Vocadom final streamed live and for free on www.mcfc.co.uk this Saturday (2pm kick-off UK time).

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