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Hughes says Robinho is ready for Wigan

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes believes Robinho will be refreshed and ready to put Wigan to the test on Sunday after being given a short break.

The Brazil striker was rested in midweek when City exited the Carling Cup, losing on penalties to League One Brighton.

Robinho, a £32.5million signing from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day, was given leave by Hughes to sort out domestic matters and put his feet up.

The British record signing has had a hectic schedule of international matches and domestic games as well as helping City achieve a UEFA Cup first-leg victory in Cyprus against Omonia Nicosia.

Robinho has returned to training, and according to Hughes, his performances at the club's base at Carrington, near Sale, have been an eye-opener.

"What has struck everyone is that you can see the enjoyment Robinho has in his day-to-day work," said the City boss. "He has a smile on his face when he comes to training.

"Everyone associates him with flicks and back-heels. His general work, though, is very correct.

"He has a great understanding of what is needed. That is the skill all top players have. He is a great talent.

"Robinho needed time out during the week as he has had a lot surrounding him. He has had a period in his personal and football life where a lot of decisions were made.

"He had issues back home as well that needed resolving, so it was more about clearing his mind.

"He is back fit, well and looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully we will reap the benefit.''

Apart from Robinho, goalkeeper Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Elano are all likely to reclaim their places in the starting line-up.

Hughes is looking for a repeat of the display against Portsmouth last Sunday -- when a marvellous 6-0 victory was achieved - not the one against Brighton.

However, the Welshman made no excuses for the side he put out in the second round of the Carling Cup.

He said: "We have to give players a rest on occasions and take them out of the firing line. We cannot field the same team week in, week out.

"Ideally, you would like to name your best players in every game but you have to be realistic.

"We had a side that was good enough to win at Brighton and we should have done so. But while it was a disappointing result we cannot allow ourselves to dwell on competitions we are out of. We have to look ahead."

Wigan clinched a place in the last 16 of the cup with a comfortable 4-1 victory at Ipswich and are making good progress under Hughes' former Manchester United team-mate Steve Bruce.

Hughes said: "It is a good game to come back into. They are a big, strong, powerful side, who will upset a lot of teams. We do not want that to happen to us.

"We set a standard against Portsmouth and need to produce that level again when we face Wigan."

City will again be without Bulgaria winger Martin Petrov, who is still suffering from a hamstring problem.


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