UEFA Cup: Hughes - Time 'To Make A Statement'
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As City's gaffer prepares the squad for training on Copenhagen's relaid Parken stadium pitch, he underlines his determination for The Blues to progress in Europe...
'It's still a difficult tie for us - they are a strong, fit side who are doing well, though they've not had too many competitive matches lately.
'They are a similar team to Midtjylland but higher in the league and going well. Like most Scandinavian teams, they are big guys with a good work ethic who get around the pitch.
'It's a good test for us. We're looking to get back on track and it's about time we did. It's about making sure we are in good shape for the home leg, being on the front foot with a positive result so that we can finish the job.
'A draw would be OK. Ideally we'd like to score out there, that would leave us in good shape. But Copenhagen are conscious of the threat we have and will be looking to restrict our opportunities in the final third.
'We weren't able to ask enough questions at Portsmouth and this is a good opportunity now in Europe to make a statement. People will look at our away form and ask questions about us, but we can only answer by winning games.
'Sometimes (Europe) can be seen as a distraction but trust me, when you do go out it's a missed opportunity. There's an emptiness there that we don't want to experience, and we have enough quality to go as far as we want.
'You always need a slice of luck now and then in cup competitions, but hopefully we can get to the quarters or the semi-finals ... then anything can happen.'PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE CARL RAMSBOTTOM APPEAL:
On 27 November 2008, Carl travelled over to Germany to watch his beloved side play Schalke in the UEFA Cup, however due to a tragic incident at a German train station, Carl suffered life threatening injuries.
Due to this horrendous incident, Carl ended up in a coma for three weeks. He is currently in a rehabilitation unit in Germany while his family remain by his bedside.
The family are hopeful that Carl might be in a position to be repatriated to a rehab unit within the United Kingdom, hopefully sometime in March.
If you would like to make a donation, please make cheques payable to P&W MCFCCSA and send it to Ian Ramsbottom. 12 Plant Hill Road Blackley M96NH.
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Date:Wednesday February 18 2009