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First Team News

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Hughes hails Johnson and Santa Cruz

Manchester City's Santa Cruz

Manchester City's Santa Cruz

Mark Hughes hailed the depth of his squad after a whole host of star names came out of the shadows to help fire the Blues into the last eight of the Carling Cup.

Roque Santa Cruz, Michael Johnson, Sylvinho, Vincent Kompany and Vladimir Weiss all produced eye-catching performances as City swept aside an outclassed Scunthorpe.

Santa Cruz and Johnson were on the score sheet as City fired a nap hand on a night when they were, at times, irresistible.

“There were lots of positives to come out of the game tonight when we played with the necessary intensity and tempo that made it difficult for Scunthorpe,” declared the manager.

“We put on plenty of pressure and in the end they were not able to cope with it and we ran out comfortable winners.

“We were determined to finish the tie off and not allow a repeat of Sunday’s match against Fulham. I thought in the second half in particular we were excellent in all departments.

“Roque got a start and a goal as well. I thought his general play was outstanding.  He allowed players to flourish around him. I was pleased for him because I think he showed everybody what he is capable of.

 

People could see his qualities and he will only get better.  It is always important for strikers to get off the mark as soon as possible.

...Hughes on Santa Cruz

 

“In addition to that Michael has come on and scored an outstanding goal as well and we are delighted with that because for long periods while he was out it was a worry whether or not he could get back to the level of the first team. Now we understand the problem that he had and hopefully he will be able to stay fit and well.

 

It is like having a multi-million pound player back in the team.

...Hughes on Johnson

 

Hughes will now look forward to the quarter final draw on Saturday lunchtime which sees six of the new ‘Magnificent Seven’ go into the hat.

Then it is off to Birmingham to continue the assault on the Premier League’s upper reaches. Hughes admits that the win over Scunthorpe has given him an few extra selection dilemmas.

“Roque and others have given me food or thought,” elaborated the boss.

“That is why we brought so many good players to the club. A strong squad and competition drives a team forward. We are improving the standard and the depth.

“Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor, who had a back spasm, should be back for the trip to Birmingham.  Wayne Bridge has a little bit of an issue with his knee but in terms of the weekend should be ok.

 “Touch wood I should have almost a full length squad to choose from. It was good that we could also get a rest into Craig Bellamy and give Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry a rest.”

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