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Hughes delighted with his smart trainers

Hughes training day

Hughes training day

Shay Given revealed this week how much he looks forward to training, and Mark Hughes believes City's high-intensity sessions at Carrington are paying rich dividends.

Super keeper Shay is clearly not alone in loving his daily shift as the buoyant Blues go to Wigan tomorrow defending a top-four start with a game in hand on most rivals.

Manager Hughes, who confesses he was "a shocking trainer" as a player, carefully honed his methods to suit top-quality players during his years in charge of Wales and Blackburn Rovers.
He admitted: "I'm a poacher turned gamekeeper. I used to hate training for training's sake - I just felt it was a waste of time. People were irritating me for an hour and a half because they couldn't be bothered to put the thought into what they were trying to achieve.

"So I've never allowed myself or my staff to be like that. The players know there is a good reason behind everything we do. You enjoy hard work more than a kick-about with no intensity.

"We know what's effective and how to present it to the players. Training enables them to get better but they enjoy their work - it's about creating the right feeling, the right structure.


Everything we do is planned to the Nth degree. Players very quickly pick up on the work that has gone into training and the thought processes behind it

 Mark Hughes


City's boss also admitted that not every player in the squad he inherited last year was able to rise to the challenge of his demanding regime - but there is no dissent in the camp today.

He said: "Some players found it more difficult to embrace what needed to be done. You give them opportunities but if they can't or won't step up to the plate, there's no point them being here.

"We've bought players who see what's in place, what we do in preparation and recovery, and they accept that as the norm. They embrace it without question. They just see it as the Man City way."

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