Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday March 1 2009
City's failure to get anything out of a UEFA qualification six pointer against a physical West Ham side leaves Mark Hughes frustrated and rueing injuries to key players....
City missed opportunities today in more ways than one and have a mountain to climb if the squad are to achieve a top seven league finish outside of the ongoing UEFA Cup campaign.
The City boss said: 'I thought our performance was good, on the balance of play we created four or five really good chances but did not take them.
'West Ham did not create a great deal, but in the second half they had one chance and took it. Unfortunately for us that has shaped the game. I thought it was one of our best away performances of the season, including Liverpool, but we did not take the chances and get the goal we needed.
'Goals change games, it's an old clichè but it is absolutely true. If we had scored first West Ham would have had to come out at us, which is when we can pick teams off. But when we concede first we find it difficult to put pressure on. Overall the performance was fine but we are very disappointed to lose away from home again.
'We were the away side but West Ham for long periods played like the away side trying to repel attacks. Attitude and performance-wise I am more than happy, but result wise we have to be disappointed because that was a game we should have won.'
It ain't looking good injury wise meanwhile and more inconsistent, bobbins refereeing meant that the bar being set with Scott Parker's booking for a lunge on the subsequently injured Micah Richards, it fell away allowing the dissent fuelled Parker to knack Robinho and go after others.
Certainly, West Ham's physical approach was somewhat unexpected but they again proved that if you really knock about this City side, you have a solid chance of winning.
Hughes underlined the seriousness of the injury situation ahead of the crucial midweek visit of Aston Villa:
'Craig will see the knee surgeon that he has seen before, he has a bit of pain on his patella. We hope it is nothing serious, we do not anticipate that it will be and it will be checked out on Monday. Robbie has gone over on his ankle, it is a similar one to when he was injured against Arsenal, it could be the same injury and he could be out for Wednesday as well.
'Micah had a stiff hamstring yesterday, had some work with the physios last night and it eased off. It was not an actual pull, but he went into a challenge and felt it stiffen up almost immediately. We hope we can work on it and release the tightness, hopefully it is not a strain because that would take him out for a number of weeks.'
Time is not on City's side as the fixture intensity picks up again and Hughes needs to be wary of pushing The Raging Bulgar, Valeri Bojinov back into the firing line too early. Much as it was brilliant to see him in a Luton, sorry City shirt this afternoon.
However, Hughes can at least call upon the free from supension Vital Man City favourite Shaun Wright-Phillips for Wednesday night.
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.
Or,if you would prefer to pay by credit or debit card, please click on the following link.
Date:Sunday March 1 2009
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