Robinho boost for City

11 March 2009 12:16
Mark Hughes has confirmed that Robinho is fit and insisted the Uefa Cup is Manchester City's priority this season. Robinho suffered an ankle injury during the defeat to West Ham at the start of the month and, after missing the victory over Aston Villa, returned to Brazil for treatment. He is now in contention for Thursday's Uefa Cup clash with Aalborg and Hughes is delighted to have him back. "Robinho has trained all week. He looks fit and will be available," said the Man City boss. "He has suffered this injury twice, basically when he goes over on it it aggravates an old injury. "It is not a major concern but there was a chance that he wouldn't be available tomorrow so we are thankful it's not the case." Hughes added: "Robinho has the ability to unlock the door. Sometimes in Europe defences can be very hard to break down. You might need a flash of inspiration or a piece of brilliance. Robinho can do that for you." Vincent Kompany is doubtful with a toe injury and Hughes is concerned about his lack of options in midfield, with winter signing Nigel de Jong not registered for the competition. Hughes explained: "Vincent is suffering a lot of discomfort at the moment and he is struggling to be fit. "It is a worry for us because we are looking like being without two guys right in the centre of the park." Strong competitionHughes has always looked to select his strongest possible starting XI in the Uefa Cup and he is determined for City to go on and make as much progress in the competition as possible. There are no other English sides left after Aston Villa lost to CSKA Moscow in the last round and Tottenham bowed out against Shakhtar Donetsk. Harry Redknapp fielded a weakened side in both legs as Tottenham looked ahead to the Carling Cup final and a number of crucial Premier League matches in their battle for top-flight survival. Martin O'Neill also rested key players for the trip to Russia and made it clear that his focus was on securing UEFA Champions League qualification for Villa. But Hughes does not feel the competition, which will be revamped as the Europa League next term and structured differently, has been devalued. He told Sky Sports News: "I don't think so. If you look at the quality of the teams that have been competing in the competition it is high quality and I think anyone would want to win. "Different clubs have different circumstances and different priorities and our priority this year is to progress as far we can in the competition, which is why invariably we have gone with the strongest team we can. "The way we have approached it has enabled us to be the last English team standing and we are pleased about that. We now we want to see if we can progress even further. "Maybe Uefa feels the competition needs a different format to create more interest with the general public but I am not really sure of their real motivation for changing. "Certainly this year it has been a strong competition and not one we have taken lightly at any stage."

Source: SKY_Sports