Hughes' high hopes for Robinho

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Football News

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes is hoping Robinho can hit the goal trail again now the threat of legal action against his star striker has been lifted.

The £32.5million forward was informed last night he will face no action over the allegations of sexual assault that were made against him in January. Robinho always protested his innocence, and West Yorkshire Police have now confirmed the matter has been dropped.

Hughes said: "We knew there was no substance to the allegations, and now it has been put to bed."

The ruling leaves the Brazilian free to concentrate on giving City an end-of-season push towards glory in the UEFA Cup, where they tackle Hamburg in Thursday's quarter-final first-leg.

Having enjoyed a remarkable start to his Barclays Premier League career, Robinho has struggled since the turn of the year. The former Real Madrid star has not found the net once in 2009.

Hughes, speaking at coaching and signing session on behalf of Premier League sponsors Barclays, does not entirely feel the barren spell is down to Robinho's off-field problems. However, he is now looking for an improvement from his record signing.

"Certainly those things can affect players. They are not nice, and it has not been easy for him. But it is out of the way now," Hughes added.

"I actually think the fact he has not scored is more to do with the opposition recognising what a talent he is and trying to find ways of stopping him. There have been games when he has not scored but has still created chances for other people."

Hughes certainly believes the criticism levelled at Robinho with increasing ferocity this season is unfair.

"He gets a little bit too much criticism for his away performances," said Hughes. "I accept some of them have not been good, but he is not alone in that. He is high profile, and it is easy to pinpoint him."

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