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Hughes strikes up City understanding
Published : 23 Aug 2009 09:16:19
A friendly win over Barcelona in the Nou Camp, sandwiched in between Premier League victories over Blackburn and Wolves, mean City have enjoyed an immensely successful week that has brought them six points and three clean sheets. In addition, £25million striker Adebayor has two goals to his name, following up last week's effort at Ewood Park with a fine 19th-minute matchwinner to sink Wolves. "It is important that your strikers get up and running," said Hughes. Important too that Adebayor is forging an impressive partnership with Tevez. While the Argentina star's heel problem kept him on the sidelines for nearly all of pre-season, he has now regained full fitness and it was his cushioned pass from Wayne Bridge's cross that provided Adebayor with the opportunity to lash home. "I am quite pleased with their partnership," said Hughes. "It doesn't take good players long to learn how to play together. "There is a natural respect from both guys in terms of what each other can produce and they are starting to get to know each other a lot better." City should have won far more easily than they did. Robinho went close on three separate occasions during the first-half alone, when Adebayor might have added to his tally. After the interval, Stephen Ireland should have scored, only to prod a tame effort wide after running onto Robinho's return pass, then Adebayor rounded keeper Wayne Hennessey but took the ball too wide and fired into the side-netting when he should have done much better. It left City open to the counter-attack and Andy Keogh nearly made them pay with the visitors' best chance, which rocketed back off the bar midway through the second-half. City maintained their 100% record, which keeps them alongside the early pace-setters. Earlier this week, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy appeared to indicate City could not win the title this time around. However, the straight-talking Yorkshireman has now clarified his stance. "I didn't say they couldn't win it, I said I didn't think they would. There is a difference," he countered. "If they carve out as many chances as they did today, brilliant. If they let everybody else carve out as many as we did, it is different. "I can't say we deserved to take something out of the game. That would be barmy because they had so many opportunities. But we nearly did."