Hughes plays down Richards bust-up

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Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has played down a training ground bust-up with defender Micah Richards.

Newspaper reports claimed the 20-year-old had an argument with his boss but Hughes said it was a minor incident.

"People seem to be making a big thing of the little exchange we had. These things happen time and time again at training grounds," he said after the 2-1 victory at Everton. "Our training ground is a little bit open and every day we have long-range lenses pointed in our direction."

He added: "I didn't pay much attention to the incident at the time. It was something and nothing and it didn't affect Micah's performance, I thought he was excellent.

"If it had been a serious incident he wouldn't have played today so that shows you the strength of it."

Richards was one of a number of players who put in impressive performances at Everton to secure City's first Barclays Premier League away win since August 31.

British transfer record signing Robinho opened the scoring in the 35th minute when he raced on to Elano's through-ball, left Phil Jagielka standing and fired through goalkeeper Tim Howard's legs.

The £32.5million Brazilian then turned provider for Stephen Ireland nine minutes after half-time when he picked out the charging midfielder in acres of space as City caught their hosts on the counter-attack.

Substitute Dan Gosling fired an injury-time consolation but it could not prevent City's first win at Goodison Park since October 1992, ending a run of three successive away defeats for Hughes' side.

"Robinho has had criticism of his performances away from home, unjustified on occasions, but I thought he was outstanding," added Hughes. "His growing relationship in his play with Stephen Ireland, I thought they were both outstanding."

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Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Tim Howard
Premier League
Phil Jagielka
Micah Richards
Mark Hughes
Dan Gosling

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