Hughes defends City off-day

15 March 2009 05:07
Mark Hughes has leapt to the defence of his Manchester City side in the wake of a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea. The Blues endured a difficult afternoon at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and were fortunate not to find themselves on the receiving end of a more comprehensive scoreline. They offered little in terms of an attacking threat and were reliant on Shay Given and his defence for bailing them out on a number of occasions. Hughes accepts that his side were far from their fluent best in the capital, but believes Chelsea should be praised for the manner in which they were able to nullify Robinho and co. "It's sometimes difficult away from home," he said. "It was difficult to get him (Robinho) into the game. You have to give the opposition credit for that because they see Robinho as a threat for us and they're going to try and deny him the space to have a positive impact. "You can't just expect one player to carry the team. We have other players who have to stand up to the plate and be counted. Today wasn't Robinho's day. Impact "His general performances have been good. He's scored 11 Premier League goals and had a real impact for us. "It's been more difficult for us to get him in the right areas to score, but he's created a number of goals for us and is helping the team. Today was just one of those days when he wasn't able to have a positive effect on the side. "He is under pressure every time he plays and there's an expectation every time he plays. But all our attackers struggled so it is unfair to pinpoint him. "Our attacking play was maybe a little too slow. We're an attack-minded team, but we didn't have that sharpness that you need when you come up against one of the top sides. "I just think we looked a bit leggy today. The difference in preparation time told in the end. The fact that we were missing key personnel as well didn't allow us to have that spark or dynamic play we've had in recent weeks. "We switched off briefly for the goal we conceded. At that point, Chelsea were quite comfortable to protect that lead, and we didn't ask enough questions of them because we lacked that spark."

Source: SKY_Sports