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Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge

50-50 Challenge
By ESPN Staff

I've earned financial backing, insists Hughes

Mark Hughes insists he deserves the backing of Manchester City's wealthy new owners.

Abu Dhabi-based business tycoons the United Group for Development and Investment have already stressed Hughes' future is safe under the new regime.

It means the former Wales star is going to be the first man to benefit from the massive injection of cash the Blues are about to receive.

They have already smashed the British transfer record by splashing out £32.5million on Robinho, with the promise of much more to come over the next few months and years.

Hughes refuses to look upon the situation as good fortune on his part. He prefers to believe it is all his previous hard work paying dividends.

'I would like to think I deserve a bit of backing,' he said. 'If you look at my record in the Premier League, with limited resources, it is as good as anybody. With resources I back myself to be successful. I think the owners recognise that.

'In the last couple of years I have been talked of in terms of some of the top jobs in the Premier League so it is not as if they are getting someone who doesn't know what they are doing.'

Hughes has not met, or even spoken to, City's new owners yet.

With all transfer business concluded until January, he does not feel there is an urgent rush for talks, especially as the loose ends of the takeover are still to be tied up.

But there is a fair chance Hughes will spend any spare time during the next few weeks drawing up a wish-list of stars, in addition to players such as Cristiano Ronaldo that club officials have already mentioned.

And while Hughes will continue to look for value, he is prepared to pay over the odds if it means getting the right man, given he is in the fortunate position of working without the need for a budget.

'We will try to get value if we can but if we feel the right player is attainable and we have to pay extra, we have the means to do it,' he added. 'I have heard there are no limits but we will also look for good young players because I feel that is the right thing to do.'

Hughes has promised Manchester City's long-suffering fans he will not squander the opportunity

'This is a fantastic opportunity for everybody, myself included, and we are not going to let it slip,' he said.

'We will do everything in our power to make sure we take advantage of the position we find ourselves in and make everything bigger and better than it was before

Hughes is adamant that Robinho's wages will not cause problems in the changing rooms, insisting the dressing room and who comes into it will be his domain.

'Instead of being jealous, maybe their view will be that with better players we will become more successful and as a consequence they will earn more because they will get more win bonuses,' argued the Welshman.

'I simply do not see any problem fitting players into the team. When you bring good players into a group, the effect is positive. Straight away guys that are already here see it as a challenge.

'They see good players coming in and recognise they have to up their game as well.

'At any club you need to bring in new faces to stimulate the group and certainly the likes of Robinho coming into the squad cannot be viewed as a negative.'

Hughes has already warned it might not be quite as easy as some fans imagine to bring top-class stars to Eastlands.

Robinho's presence is bound to help. But he knows clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan and, closer to home, Chelsea and Manchester United are not going to roll over just because City come calling.

'You can only play 11 at any one time,' he reflected. 'There are more than 11 outstanding players in world football for a start and most of them are at top clubs already, so I am not sure you can say we will just cherry-pick players.

'What we will do is get the right players for the right positions. That is what building a football team and a club is about. We want players I think will enhance our chances of being successful.

'In that sense my role does not change. Maybe the sums of money to get a different level of player has changed but you need the same mindset.'


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