Hughes seeks striker swoop

01 February 2009 10:21
Mark Hughes claims he desperately needs to sign a targetman after seeing his Manchester City side lose 1-0 at ten-man Stoke City. City dominated possession at the Britannia Stadium but, despite the combined attacking talents of Robinho, Craig Bellamy and Shaun Wright-Phillips, they were unable to unlock a well-drilled home defence. On Friday, Hughes saw a fresh £18million offer for striker Roque Santa Cruz rejected by Blackburn Rovers and the City chief has admitted his side is struggling to break down opposition defences. "There is a reluctance to knock balls into the box, because we do not have that physical presence and defenders are likely to clear balls from those area," he claimed. "We just didn't create enough chances to break them down. We had a lot of attack-minded players on the pitch at the end, we looked for every option, but this time it did not work. "It is hard to make space on a very tight pitch, one on which Stoke are running hard and closing everyone down. "The one time we did break through, Micah Richards was taken out in the box for what was a clear penalty. It was blatant, but not given." Meanwhile, Hughes has admitted the final hours of the transfer window are likely to be busy ones at the City of Manchester Stadium. City could make another approach for Santa Cruz, while they remain in the hunt for Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given. "I've not heard anything more on our transfer targets. Bids are on the table but they have gone no further," added Hughes. "I was with the chairman yesterday to discuss a plan to go forward, the bids are on the table."

Source: ESA

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