Investment paying dividends for Manchester City says Hughes

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The Independent Football

Mark Hughes believes the results of Manchester City's multi-million pound investment are beginning to show after last night's Uefa Cup victory over FC Copenhagen.

Wales striker Craig Bellamy, a reported £14million signing from West Ham last month, scored twice in seven second-half minutes to secure a 4-3 aggregate triumph and a place in the last 16 against another Danish side in Aalborg.

"We keep trying to tell people we are very early in our progression but some people don't want to hear that," Hughes told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Where we are at the moment is right on track."

City, now the only English side in the Uefa Cup following Aston Villa and Tottenham's failure to progress from the first knockout round, are the world's richest club having been purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group last summer, an organisation funded by multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour.

Hughes' side sprung a surprise on the closing day of the summer transfer window, purchasing Brazil international Robinho for a British record £32.5m.

But City have struggled domestically this term, particularly away from Eastlands, and are 10th in in the Barclays Premier League.

Hughes was pleased with the display, having been held to a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Copenhagen.

"We're delighted to have progressed in the competition tonight - a lot of big teams have gone out by all accounts so we'll see how far we can go," he added.

"We created a lot of chances tonight and at one point you think you're not going to get the one goal which would free us to play better.

"But we got it in the end and it was a decent performance."

The City boss had special praise for match-winner Bellamy, who revealed he played despite the loss of his cousin through illness.

Hughes said: "Craig showed great character as he has done for many years. He showed real mental strength to play tonight after a very close family member had passed away.

"It was touch and go whether he was in the right frame of mind to play. He wanted to play and we benefited from that.

"Under difficult circumstances he has come through and made the impact we hoped he would."