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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 6 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Feb 15, 2009

Hughes angry as City slump to another defeat

Mark Hughes has demanded more from his Manchester City players after they slumped to a dispiriting defeat at the hands of managerless Portsmouth.

City were virtual spectators as a Pompey side whose form has been so poor since the turn of the year it led them to sack boss Tony Adams last week, cantered to a 2-0 victory.

For Hughes, such a display against a side who had mustered just two points from their previous nine matches was not good enough.

"It was very disappointing from our point of view,'' confessed the Welshman. "The Premier League is the hardest league in the world and if you don't hit a certain level you will get beaten.

"That's what happened. We had a lot of possession and a lot of territory but without really creating creating anything worthwhile.

"We had one chance right at the end with Ched when we realised we had to hit some more angled balls into the box to create something. Up to that that point we never looked like making something happen or creating anything.

"It's a disappointment because we expected more.''

Hughes was already without the leadership of centre-half Richard Dunne before Micah Richards failed a late fitness test on his ankle.

Homegrown defender Shaleum Logan was drafted in for his first taste of Premier League football at right-back but, despite being pleased by his efforts, Hughes felt his defence missed the absent duo.

"We had a young back four obviously and we had players that weren't able to hit any kind of level,'' Hughes said. "Logan came in and under the circumstances acquitted himself quite well. We'll take that as a positive because there weren't many to take being perfectly honest.

"Ideally you want every player to be available and present for selection. Richard wasn't and we hoped Micah was going to be okay but he woke up and his ankle was very sore.

"That would be looking for excuses though. At the end of the day we had enough quality to make a better fist of it than we did. We're not the biggest side physically and a number of times I think we were compromised in that respect.

"But you can still make it difficult for them whether you're five foot tall or six foot five. It's about having a mentality and a desire to get the job done.''

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