Hughes wary of Bolton threat

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Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has cautioned against his side dismissing Bolton as long-ball merchants.

After successfully dispatching Stoke on home soil last weekend, City now face another side who prefer the aerial approach as they look to improve a sorry record of just one win from six domestic away games.

"Bolton have a way of playing that is well known and has continued in a similar vein since Gary Megson came in," said Hughes. "But they are more than just a side that knocks it into the channels. They have quality players as well."

He added: "What we have to do is compete at set plays. It is a big part of their game and they are very adept at getting first contact in both boxes.

"We have to make sure that we cope physically and when we get an opportunity to get our head on the ball, or clear it if it is in our own box, we do it with conviction."

While many City fans are not entirely happy with the results Hughes has gained from his short time in charge, even if no-one is complaining at the entertainment value, those angry with Megson at Bolton are growing in number.

After winning over a support that was distinctly underwhelmed by his arrival as Sammy Lee's replacement 12 months ago, then keeping Bolton in the top flight, Megson's stock has fallen as another relegation battle seems set to begin.

Little wonder chairman Phil Gartside has called for the abolition of relegation, something Hughes does not believe will ever happen.

"Bolton are under pressure to get results but so are everyone else," he said. "They are at home so the onus is on them to capitalise on their strengths and expose our weaknesses. Gary Megson has been in the game a long time.

"He is thick skinned enough to know it comes with the territory. He will be able to deal with that. I am sure he is just focussing on making sure his team is ready for the challenge of meeting us."

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Stoke City
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Mark Hughes

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