Hughes thanks lucky stars

20 March 2009 07:17
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has admitted his side rode their luck after they claimed their place in the Uefa Cup quarter-finals. City headed into Thursday night's last-16 tie with Aalborg in a commanding position, having won the first leg at Eastlands 2-0. The Premier League club looked set to progress in Denmark, but two goals in the final five minutes forced extra-time and then penalties. And Hughes had winter transfer window signing Shay Given to thank as the former Newcastle goalkeeper made two vital saves from Aalborg spot-kicks. Hughes said: "Maybe lady luck is smiling on us and maybe that is a good sign, but we will have to wait and see. "We know we can play better than we did here, we have proved that in Europe and in the league. "In the end, we have been able to come through and we'll take the result on penalties but we should never really have been in that situation. "You scratch your head and wonder how that situation has developed but, if teams put balls in good areas, on occasion things will drop and go their way. "At the end of the day, we are through to the next round and that is what we were trying to achieve. We would have preferred a more comfortable passage but we have been able to get where we wanted to get." On Given's performance, Hughes added: "I think knowing Shay was between the sticks for us gave the lads real confidence. "I think the lads going up for the penalties had a real belief Shay would play a hand." Hughes also revealed Stephen Ireland, City's most industrious player, had suffered an ankle injury and would be assessed ahead of Sunday's game against Sunderland.

Source: SKY_Sports