Hughes: Buck stops here

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Football News

Mark Hughes has admitted the buck will stop with him if Manchester City falter after their flying start to the season.

Victory at Aston Villa on Monday would complete a remarkable first couple of months for the Blues, who are already enjoying their best start since 1961, with five wins from their opening six games. With some key men poised to return, Hughes knows he will have no-one to blame but himself if things go downhill from here.

"I am going to have lots of options but it is a good problem to have," he said. "It is exciting because people can see what we are capable of. We have good players playing well and good players still to come back. Now it is down to me to make sure I pick the right options for the right opposition."

City have been without a number of key men, including £32.5million record signing Robinho, plus Roque Santa Cruz and Michael Johnson, who made their first appearances of the campaign against West Ham earlier this week.

So, with Martin Petrov catching the eye on his first start and Vincent Kompany only a couple of weeks away from a comeback after a summer toe operation, Hughes suddenly has big choices to make. The Welshman will be hoping to have another significant option at Villa too.

After serving a three-match ban for his woeful attack on Robin van Persie, which he continues to insist was not pre-meditated as his former team-mate claimed, Emmanuel Adebayor is currently free to face Martin O'Neill's men.

However, the Togo star faces an improper conduct charge on Thursday in relation to his controversial goal celebration against his old club at Eastlands earlier this month, which received widespread condemnation, including from Greater Manchester Police.

City will use the evidence of Gary Neville's goal celebration against them the following week - which did not even bring a charge against the Manchester United defender - as evidence to back up Adebayor's claim he did nothing wrong. A suspension is possible though, even if Hughes does not believe it is warranted.

"We hope Manu won't get any more matches," he said. "We don't think he should."

If Adebayor is available it would arguably leave Hughes to select from the strongest pool of forward players in the Premier League.

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

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Robin Van Persie
Emmanuel Adebayor
Martin Petrov
Manchester City
Michael Johnson
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Vincent Kompany
Roque Santa Cruz
Manchester United
Mark Hughes
Aston Villa
Michael Johnson
Gary Neville

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