Hughes: All eyes are on City

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Football News

Mark Hughes knows the eyes of the football world will be on Manchester City on Saturday - with just as many wanting them to fail as succeed.

Although the Abu Dhabi United Group have had ownership of the Blues for almost a year now, it is only this summer that they have really flexed their financial muscle. By the time Hughes has made the additional defensive purchases he feels are required before the end of the month, he will have spent in excess of £100million on new players, a figure that would double if purchases since the end of a tepid 2007-08 campaign were taken into account.

"There is a lot of interest in us," said Hughes. "There are a lot of people who want us to succeed and just as many who want us to fail."

Everyone has an opinion on the Eastlands revolution, including most notably Sir Alex Ferguson, whose reaction has been taken as a sign of trepidation about City's eventual strength.

But Hughes knows hype is no good alone. He will be expected to deliver results, starting at his old Ewood Park stomping ground. And, while many feel City's rise would be beneficial to the Premier League, where the established top four have dominated for too long, the Welshman is aware laughter will be heard far beyond Old Trafford, if his side fail their first test.

"People who maybe have a negative slant on what we are trying to do sometimes have the loudest voices and are given more platforms," he added. "I think there are just as many people excited and wondering what we are going to do, whether we have the means to do it and whether we are going to shake up the status quo.

"We have to live with that and deal with that. It is about making sure we are the best prepared team in the Premier League. That is what we are striving to do."

Unfortunately for Hughes, injuries have affected his planning. Roque Santa Cruz and Vincent Kompany have already been ruled out and there are also doubts over Carlos Tevez, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy, plus Shay Given, who apparently picked up a knock on international duty with the Republic of Ireland this week.

It means of the six new faces Hughes has brought in this summer, only Stuart Taylor, brought in from Aston Villa to be Given's deputy, and Gareth Barry, who hardly had the best of week's with England, might be involved for a match given added spice by David Dunn's inflammatory comments that Rovers will rough up the cosmopolitan City.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Emmanuel Adebayor
Manchester City
Carlos Tevez
Gareth Barry
Mark Hughes
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Vincent Kompany
Kolo Toure
Roque Santa Cruz
Shay Given
David Dunn
Stuart Taylor
Mark Hughes
Aston Villa

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