Friday, 17 April 2009

HSV reax

Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail

City would have deserved an extra 30 minutes, as unexpected as it would have been after a pretty one-sided first leg.

Having so often come up short when character was needed this season, City suddenly found what Hughes has been looking for last night. What a difference
a bit of spirit makes.

Afterwards Hughes didn’t seem to know whether to be disappointed or encouraged. It was that kind of evening.

Ian Herbert, The Independent

City exited the Uefa Cup with a win and with some great spirit on a night of high emotion which will help preserve the job of Mark Hughes and which provided a tantalising glimpse of what the promised land might one day bring. The City manager spent three hours yesterday afternoon with Mubarak, who did not arrive at the stadium until 3.30pm, and together they mapped out plans for the future. "I'm still here [in a job] and I'm fine," Hughes said. It is felt that the atmosphere in a stadium near its 48,000 capacity has helped Hughes, whose club have done him a favour by ensuring, immediately after victory in the last round again Aalborg, that Mubarak was here to experience the quarter-final atmosphere.

Daniel Taylor, The Guardian

Hughes will inevitably go into the next few weeks, rightly or wrongly, with his position under close scrutiny. This, however, was not an evening for recriminations and at the final whistle there was rich applause rather than the jeers that had followed his players down the tunnel when they lost to Fulham on Sunday. It had been a pulsating night of nerve-shredding football and, in a strange kind of way, it might even have strengthened Hughes's job prospects. The club's chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, had flown in from Abu Dhabi and, even though it is Hamburg who will face Werder Bremen in an all-German Uefa Cup semi-final, Hughes was entitled to be buoyed by the manner of his team's performance.

James Ducker, The Times

Some players have been accused of no longer playing for Hughes, but such suggestions seemed almost laughable against Hamburg. Elano, widely viewed as a troublemaker whom the manager could do without, produced arguably his finest performance since joining the club, but to a man — Richard Dunne excluded — City were magnificent and but for a glut of missed chances would have progressed.

Mark Ogden, Daily Telegraph

Superbia In Proelio - Pride in Battle - has been lost in translation far too often by Hughes's cosmopolitan collection of superstars and Academy graduates in recent months, but even those with the guiltiest conscience amongst the City squad came to the fore in a stirring 2-1 victory.

City may have been eliminated, an exit hastened by Richard Dunne's 76th minute dismissal, but pride was restored in front of Sheikh Mansour's key men.

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