Hughes keeps faith in Robinho

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Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has backed £32.5million man Robinho to hit the goal trail again soon following his spot-kick nightmare against Sunderland on Sunday.

Micah Richards' second-half header ensured City did not have cause to regret Robinho's miss when he tamely rolled his 18th-minute effort straight to Marton Fulop.

"Robinho wants to make a positive impact and was obviously disappointed he wasn't able to put the penalty away," observed Hughes.

It extended a goalless streak that dates back to December 28 for the Brazilian. Yet Hughes remains solidly behind his man.

"Robinho was confident enough to take the ball and try to score," he added.

"He kept on trying and had good opportunities in the second half as well. The desire to make amends for the miss was there for everyone to see."

Hughes also refused to condemn Robinho for his penalty routine, the trademark stutter failing to put Fulop off.

He added: "He played cat and mouse with the keeper, who is a big guy. If he chooses the correct side there is a chance he may be able to stop it. It happens."

Instead, Richards salvaged victory against the 10-man Black Cats with only his third goal for City and offered further evidence of a revival in a career that has stagnated over the past 18 months.

"People forget he is only 20," said Hughes. "Players have fluctuations in form at such a young age but he seems to be coming good at the business end of the season."

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Marton Fulop
Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Micah Richards
Mark Hughes

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