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Boss has high hopes for Sunday

Hughes at Celtic

Hughes at Celtic

Mark Hughes is in a confident mood ahead of Sunday's derby at Old Trafford.

The Blues go into the mouth-watering clash on the back of our straight league wins, with the most recent being courtesy of a scintillating performance against Arsenal.

The interest in the game has gone well beyond just the Manchester area, and the Manager is comfortable with the focus on his side given their eye-catching start to the season.

He said: "We are looking forward to the game, it's one that has captured everyone's imaginations. The interest surrounding it is greater than it's been in many, many years.

"We are going to enjoy it, it’s a challenge for us and one of the bigger challenges we will have. It’s about making sure that we give a good account of ourselves, because we are here to stay. We won't go away anytime soon, we are here to make a challenge and if we can that's what we will do.

"We played exceptionally well last week, and we have to hit the same levels again this time around. I do feel that we can cause any team a problem."

...Mark Hughes...


But City will go into the game with a reduced number of strikers to choose from. Emmanuel Adebayor is the most high-profile enforced absentee, and media speculation on Friday morning surrounded a possible surprise comeback for Carlos Tevez, who picked up a knee injury on international duty.

On his options up front, Mark added: "Out of six strikers we have one fully fit. We have hopes on Carlos as an option, he joined in today but he has had no physical contact. He has not really tested the knee so we will have to do that before Sunday, but he is still a doubt."

The challenge presented by going to an arena he graced with distinction in his playing days is one that still stirs the Manager's blood,who is as excited by anybody about the prospects for Sunday.

"It really is a fantastic stage for top level football," he declared. "Everybody should be excited about going to a place like Old Trafford, it’s a great arena and a test when you go there.

"We hope to go there and give a good account of ourselves, and we feel we have the talent in the team that can exploit things in the game at any given time.

"There is huge respect for United and their ability to win key games over the years. But we go there in great shape, and you have to go to places like Old Trafford in good heart. Our confidence is high, we are a strong group and very together at the moment, which is a big help to us.

"We want to win, the fans demand that and we demand that of ourselves, so we are positive ahead of Sunday."

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