Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Sunday October 25 2009
Not often we can talk about an Eastlands score draw these days but a far from full powered City committed suicide and you can't do that against battling Fulham...
'At set pieces we need to do better in terms of positioning and personnel. We've been caught out a few times but it's not just us. Decent balls in are difficult to defend, though that wasn't the case today.'
The City gaffer went on to reveal that he is clearly concerned about The Blues defence:
'We started really well with four clean sheets but we're conceding now. We're working hard on that. There are areas we need to focus on and we pick the bones out of the games we have played.'
The frustration across Planet Blue tonight was mirrored in the boss's downbeat assessment of his team throwing away the game which we simply cannot do if we are to meet our aspirations this season:
'At 2-0 up we should have seen the game out comfortably but we allowed them back in and we're disappointed. The key was Duff scoring, it gave them that boost. If we could have seen it through for ten or 15 minutes after our second goal the game would have petered out and we'd have won.'
The question knocking about tonight is whether or not Hughes will turn to Vincent Kompany or Nedum Onuoha to come in and stabilise City's defence as Kolo Toure trudged off injured alongside City's doctor in the closing stages:
'That goal gave them a lift at the right time and then we didn't really deal with the ball into the box. Dempsey is good in the air - it was a good goal, but I think he was as surprised as most people.'
The Fulham boss sounded proud and pleased with his side's fightback at the end of a gruelling week:
'We gave another good performance. City are getting stronger and stronger and they have good quality players. We have players injured at the moment so it was a sterling effort for the players to earn a point. We battled hard against a good side, defended well throughout, and the character of the team is outstanding.
'After their goals we got ourselves back on track and started playing how we had for the 60 minutes. It looked as though the game had been settled but full credit to the players. I wouldn't say that it was that clear in terms of chances but over the 97 minutes a draw was a fair result.'
Fulham continue to defy all estimations and get results despite their busy schedule.
City meanwhile must address their defence urgently as Birmingham are highly likely to throw the kitchen sink at them next weekend.
VMC Video Link: City Video - Hughes On Fulham Draw
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Date:Sunday October 25 2009
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