Football

Hughes dismisses mind games

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Manchester City manager Mark Hughes believes the mind games have already started because of the club's ambition.

However, he is turning a deaf ear to the soundbites of his rivals, including Martin O'Neill, after the Aston Villa boss suggested City could be title contenders because of their spending power.

An influx of top-class players prompted O'Neill to make his comment, but Hughes said: "I think there are a number of managers in and around City who are using us to lessen the expectation on their own club."

Hughes has made six signings in the transfer window, with defender Kolo Toure the latest to check in at Eastlands following his move from Arsenal for a reported £15million.

Toure's Gunners team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor has also joined up along with Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, Gareth Barry and back-up goalkeeper Stuart Taylor.

Despite's Toure's arrival, Hughes has not ruled out a third bid for Everton's Joleon Lescott. An £18million offer has been rejected, and Hughes said: "We will wait and see. We have good central defenders here already and good competition. That's what we want.

"We are making no secret of the fact we want to continue to strengthen the team. We have looked at players we feel will help us and make us successful in the future. The business we have already done is exceptional and there is quite a way to go before the window closes."

However, Hughes insisted it was never his intention to use Nedum Onuoha as a makeweight in any deal. That was emphasised this week when the former England Under-21 defender signed a new five-year agreement.

Hughes said: "It was never in my thoughts to involve him if I was trying to get another player. He is very much part of the future and we are delighted he has committed himself to the club.

"This is his club. It is really important to have a core of players that have a real empathy for City and have come through the ranks."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Emmanuel Adebayor
Football
Manchester City
Carlos Tevez
Gareth Barry
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Roque Santa Cruz
Joleon Lescott
Everton
Nedum Onuoha
Stuart Taylor
Mark Hughes
Aston Villa
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