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By ESPN Staff

Dunne to keep captain's armband at City

New boss Mark Hughes has confirmed Richard Dunne will retain the captain's armband at Manchester City this season.

It appeared Dunne would be leaving Eastlands during the summer, having stalled over contract talks amid the rancour which accompanied Sven-Goran Eriksson's dismissal.

But the appointment of Hughes helped placate the Irishman, who subsequently signed a new deal, and with battles to be won on the domestic and European fronts, the Blues chief can see no reason to alter Dunne's position as leader.

'It was important for me to understand Richard's position when I arrived here and get it resolved and now everyone is happy,' Hughes told the Manchester Evening News.

'He fulfils the captain's role very well and will continue to do so.

'I have been delighted with the response Richard has made since he signed. He has been part of this squad for a long time and it was important we made sure he would continue to be a big part of things.

'His strength and pace at the back will be one of the keys to the way we play this year.''

Dunne will miss the opening two games of the season - at Aston Villa and the opening home encounter with West Ham on August 24 - due to his dismissal at Middlesbrough on the final day of last season.

The Irishman is not the only City player sidelines as, along with Jo's presence at the Olympics with Brazil, Benjani is also facing an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a major thigh injury in training.

'He was just taking a shot on goal during training and unfortunately damaged his thigh muscle quite high up and quite badly,'' said Hughes.

'The medical staff feel it will be well into the league season before he is back.'

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