Hughes: Business as usual

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Football News

Mark Hughes has called for an end to talk of a crisis at Manchester City following three consecutive Barclays Premier League defeats.

Having been called to a board meeting on the morning of Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham, the City manager has now flown to the Middle East to meet City's new owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with sceptics claiming he is fighting to hold onto his job.

But according to City, the meeting has been planned for weeks and Hughes told the Manchester Evening News: "At the moment, it is all a little bit hysterical, you have to say. People will have to calm down a bit. But we will get points on the board because of the quality we have in the squad."

Fans are naturally concerned about City's consecutive league defeats by Middlesbrough, Bolton and Tottenham, plus the struggle to beat modest Dutch side FC Twente 3-2 in the UEFA Cup.

Additional reports of £19million striker Jo being in disciplinary trouble, his Brazilian compatriot Elano's public moaning about being dropped and speculation Jose Mourinho is being lined up to take Hughes' job in the summer, have added to the mix.

But Hughes is as keen as ever to outline his vision for the long-term future of the club - one he says he shares with the Sheikh, chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and executive chairman Garry Cook.

He added: "I had a good meeting with the chairman at the weekend when he came around to my house and ate with my family.

"We had two or three hours of good discussions and just relaxed in one another's company. And the board meeting went really positively.

"The chairman knows where we are and where we want to go. Ideally, of course, we would much prefer to have had positive results in the last couple of games but the quality of football that we have produced has been good and there have been few occasions when I have been disappointed at what we have produced.

"There will always be disappointment if you do not win but the chairman and everyone involved know that great sides are not built overnight."

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Mark Hughes

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