Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Hughes on Bellamy, Jô, and a clear out

There must have been some sort of press briefing today because various Mark Hughes lines are popping up all over the place about some interesting topics. First up is the news on Craig Bellamy's fitness, from the Daily Star:
“Craig is in the squad for Aalborg, but it’s a bit too early for him to play,” said Hughes. He is an option for us on Sunday if he comes through training without any reaction. The worst scenario was six weeks, so we’re delighted to have him back. He’s a great presence on the pitch and in the dressing-room.”
Speaking of another striker, he said this about Jô, currently on loan at Everton (also from the Star):
“We’re in a no-lose situation with Jo,” said Hughes. “He needs Premier League football because he’s a young kid. He is doing well now and next season you would expect him to be even better. That was the thinking behind it and there is no deal on the table to sell him to Everton. He understood the reasons why we sent him on loan, and he wanted to play. I think the intensity of the Premier League took him aback when he arrived. He was struggling to cope with the physicality of it. Technically he’s got enough, but he has to understand the intensity of the football and withstand the physical challenges a bit better."
Which suggests that we could see him back at City next year. Hughes did talk about a clear out though - suggesting that we may see a bit of an exodus over the summer (this time from the Guardian):
"When I first got the job, I thought the squad was imbalanced. We had about 10 strikers here, it was dreadfully lop-sided," said Hughes, speaking at a Barclays football lunch. "I think it is better now, but there are some issues that we have to address. "Although we have bought players in, we haven't shed a great deal. We will have to do that because we have to have a ­manageable squad. Ideally, you would want 23 or 24 and then have academy players of a sufficient quality to back them up."
Certainly Schmeichel, Ball, Ben Haim, Mills, Hamann, Benjani and Vassell won't be here. Question marks over Garrido, Fernandes and Sturridge (though for different reasons) too. The big name potential departure though, Robson de Souza, is defended by Hughes:
"He is a key player and to say that he is not in our long-term plans is simply to be mischievous. He is a player of great quality and he wants to be successful. Away from home we have to find a way of getting the best out of the team and the best out of Robbie. In Europe we have got away with it, in the Premier League we have not."
All of which is very interesting stuff. Of course, this only matters if the board stick with Hughes over the summer. And we won't know about that for a while yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff Jack...

I think Robinho will do better for us when we can rest and use him him properly like the rags do with Tranny. They have a squad we can only dream about... for the next few transfer windows anyway... but we'll get there, with patience and shrewd dealings by one manager, and one manager only, and that's Mr mark Leslie Hughes...

I can wait another couple of years... I've waited a few already so a couple more isn't going to hurt too much!