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Hughes satisfied with City start
Published : 13 Oct 2009 17:37:00
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes believes his expensively-assembled team have passed their first test with a good start to the Barclays Premier League season. Hughes spent about £115million in the summer bringing in Arsenal duo Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure, Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez, Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz, Everton defender Joleon Lescott and Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry. "There were a lot of questions - would we be able to gel early as a team, would so-called egos in the dressing room be able to be managed - being asked of us before a ball was even kicked," said Hughes. "From our point of view I think we have answered each and every one of them." The club's significant financial resources, which come from Abu Dhabi owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, mean expectations have soared and before the campaign kicked off City were talked about as being contenders for Champions League qualification. Hughes, who less than 12 months ago was fighting off questions about his future at Eastlands, knows the critics were waiting for his side to slip up. But they have dropped just five points - three of which were in the controversial last-gasp defeat to city rivals Manchester United - in seven matches and currently sit fourth in the table with a game in hand. Hughes added: "We know there is a long way to go but we are pleased with the start we have because we needed a good start. "The review we have had of the first phase (of the season) has been good. There will be more tests ahead of us but I think we are in good shape. "When you go through the experience we went through at Old Trafford it can only help to make the group stronger as a whole. "We know what we are capable of. We have shown glimpses in games where we have been outstanding but we've not clicked for the full 90 minutes yet."