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Eyes on the prize

Hughes interview keepers

Hughes interview keepers

Mark Hughes has used his eve of season public address to urge his players to write their names into City's history books.

Mark Hughes has used his eve of season public address to urge his players to write their names into City’s history books.

The Blues kick off their Premier League campaign at Blackburn with the gaze of the football world transfixed by their fortunes.

And the manager believes he has never had a group of players with their own eyes so firmly fixed on the possible prizes that lie in wait.

“The challenge is there for us as individuals and as a team but we must embrace that and not be apprehensive in any way,” he urged.

 

We are trying to do something that this club has not done for 30-odd years and that is our motivation. We want to be successful and win trophies.

 boss sets out ambitions

 

“This season is a huge challenge for every one of us but I sense, having worked with the group since we came back for pre-season, that the focus of the players and their intensity is as good as it has ever been. We have to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to be successful.

“We go into the season with a lot of focus on us which I think we have dealt with very well. That will intensify again now and we have to concentrate on achieving what we want to achieve.

“We don’t want to disappoint people; we did that on too many occasions last season particularly away from home. We will address that and if we do so successfully then we will have a good season.”

 The manager is well aware, however, that others will be gunning for the Blues’ scalp.

“Clubs are not going to just step aside and let us through,” he acknowledged. “The challenge is there for us but it is there for other clubs too. They will want to stop our ambitions and will use that in their team talks and in their preparations for games against us.

“I do the same. I use things other managers say about us because it brings us closer together as a group.

“We are excited about the season. We are as prepared as we can be and aware of all the expectations. We know that you cannot guarantee success but we will be doing everything we can within our powers to make it happen.”

Hughes will make a late fitness check on striker Emmanuel Adebayor who hurt his groin in Togo’s midweek defeat to Angola but will definitely be without Roque Santa Cruz, Vincent Kompany and Michael Johnson  for the trip to Ewood Park.

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