Hughes hails Bellamy

27 February 2009 08:41
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has praised Craig Bellamy's mental strength against FC Copenhagen after the striker decided to play despite the death of a family member.[LNB] Bellamy scored two goals in the aggregate 4-3 win at Eastlands on Thursday, dedicating both to his late cousin.[LNB]The brace - netted inside seven minutes in the second half - helped ease City through to the last 16 of the Uefa Cup where they will face another Danish side Aalborg.[LNB]Heaping praise on his striker's character, Hughes admitted Bellamy's decision to play was a huge benefit to City's progress.[LNB]Character"Craig showed great character as he has done for many years," said Hughes.[LNB]"He showed real mental strength to play after a close family member had passed away.[LNB]"It was touch and go whether he was in the right frame of mind to play. He wanted to play and we benefited from that.[LNB]"Under difficult circumstances he has come through and made the impact we hoped he would."[LNB]He added: "My satisfaction comes with winning the game and progressing into the next round.[LNB]"We are delighted with that as some big names have gone out. I think we deserve a bit of credit."[LNB]ToughBellamy later revealed he had been hit hard by the death of his cousin.[LNB]"I lost my cousin, one of my closest friends, on Thursday morning," said Bellamy.[LNB]"It was a hard day for me, for my family and his family. I'll miss him dearly and I'd like to dedicate this game to him and the goals as well."[LNB]

Source: SKY_Sports