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Forwards giving Hughes last laugh

Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy

City and Mark Hughes are ready to have the last laugh on those who criticised the club for buying too many strikers in the summer.

The manager had to endure all manner of barbs from would-be jokers who suggested the Blues might send out the first ever 1-0-9 or 0-0-10 formation!

But it is he who is wearing the broadest smile at present with his side having found the net in every game and other top four contenders being asked questions about lack of depth in the goal-scoring department.

Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Carlos Tevez have all found their scoring form and with Roque Santa Cruz and Robinho to back them up when fully fit and a pair of midfielders in Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stephen Ireland - who managed 21 goals between them last season - supporting the hitmen from midfield, the City chief has every right to feel his side can match any other in the firepower stakes.

“I am happy with what we have in terms of striking ability,” stressed the manager.

 “We also have Robinho to come back into the frame. We have looked at different combinations and different things and still produced at least one goal in every game.

“That’s a positive especially as we have not investigated all the possibilities yet. As the season progress we will see different formations, personnel and combinations.

“A lot of the comments about our collecting of strikers came before we had finished our business and strategy which was always to make sure we were never weaker before we were stronger.

 

We always knew with what we were doing in that respect and I am quite comfortable about where we are in terms of an attacking threat.

...Mark Hughes

 

And the manager believes putting that threat into action is vital for the mentality of the side and not just in practical terms.

“In the Premier League scoring first in a game is vitally important,” he explained. “We know that when we score first it deflates teams and we can go on from that.

“If we concede first then it becomes more difficult because teams see us a big scalp and that is why I have been particularly pleased with the way we have taken a point each from the last two away games after being 1-0 down.”

Hughes is too polite to point out that top four rivals Chelsea took no points from those same two fixtures against Wigan and Villa away but is not shy at stressing that momentum has to be maintained on Sunday against Fulham.

“The key will be tempo because they are a well organised side and difficult side to break down,” he concluded.

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