Hughes insists he is still number one

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Football News

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes insists he is still the right man to lead the Eastlands outfit despite the humiliating FA Cup defeat by Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

City lost 3-0 at home against a Forest side that have been struggling badly in the Championship this term and sacked Colin Calderwood on Boxing Day after an abject loss to Doncaster.

Hughes said: "I know exactly what is needed here. The work we do on a day-to-day basis makes players better. They have to be brave enough to perform in matches. Some were guilty of not doing that."

He added: "We know where we are in development terms and we know where we need to go. We know the areas of the squad we have to strengthen and we will try to do that. It is not going to happen in this window, or even two or three. We need more time.''

Hughes feared the worst when he lost Shaun Wright-Phillips after only 18 minutes with a hamstring injury that could keep him out for up to five weeks.

With Robinho and Stephen Ireland also sidelined, the hosts lacked any semblance of creativity and capitulated to what the City boss admitted was a deserved loss.

"We are bitterly disappointed with the level of performance that we produced," he said.

"Nottingham Forest fully deserved to win. They showed more desire and energy in their play. They forced us into errors and took their chances."

The match proved a memorable cameo for Forest caretaker boss John Pemberton, who will return to his duties with the reserve team when new manager Billy Davies takes charge next week.

"This was probably the highlight of my career,'' he added. "To win 3-0 against a Manchester City side stuffed with talent - and deserve it - was fabulous."

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Doncaster Rovers
Stephen Ireland
Manchester City
Mark Hughes
Nottingham Forest
Mark Hughes
Shaun Wright-Phillips

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