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Hughes happy with selection poser

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is relaxed about the prospect of having a strong hand to choose from for his forward line when City take on Aston Villa this Monday.

Emmanuel Adebayor is in contention once again after serving a three-match ban, but with Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz also available the Manager has plenty of food for thought.

Hughes insists that changing aside from a position of strength is something he will do as and when he sees fit, and he’s not a fan of the term ‘rotation policy’ that has become used regularly over the last few years.

He said: “We’re pleased with the attacking strength that we have, we’re still without the services of Benjani and Robinho but hopefully they will be back in a couple of weeks as well.

“We’re in decent shape in the attacking area, so given the opposition and the amount of games some players have had, it’s up to me make sure the team that gets picked can win the games I pick them for.  What’s key now is to pick the right team for the right games.

“Rotation is a word that puts certain thoughts in people’s minds. Rotation happens naturally as a consequence of playing long, hard seasons, you get injuries and suspensions, as we have. People come in and play well, some may come in and go back out of the team, there’s a natural rotation in selection anyway due to the circumstances that crop up in a season.

“But there will be certain games against certain opposition when different combinations will suit us better than others. You have to use your resources and make sure you pick the right team.”

With no new injuries to report, the Manager does not see having a nearly-full strength squad to choose from as a problem, and there’s more good news about another player who is nearing contention.

“We’re a lot stronger than we were last year,” he declared, “and we have players coming back from injury. Vincent Kompany trained with the group for the first time today as well, which was great to see. We’re getting people back, like Roque and Michael the other night, so we have a lot of options.

“People seem to think that could be a problem for me, but if it is, it’s not one we can’t deal with. It should not cause us too many sleepless nights, having too many quality players at your disposal is not something you should be worried about.”

And of Stephen Ireland, who missed last Monday’s game with a virus, Hughes added, “Stevie’s fine, he’s back in training so he’s an option for us.”

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