Ferguson faces selection dilemma says Hughes

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The Independent Online

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes believes Sir Alex Ferguson could be facing a dilemma as to which team he will pick for the Carling Cup semi-final.

Ferguson has tended to go with Manchester United's talented youngsters in the competition and they have not let him down with the trophy secured last season.

The veteran boss indicated after the quarter-final victory against Tottenham he would stick with the kids no matter the opposition in the last four.

Hughes, however, is not so sure that will be the case after the clubs were thrown together in draw.

He recalled his time in charge of Blackburn in 2006 when they were beaten by United in the last four in two incident-packed games.

Ferguson named the likes of Ryan Giggs, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney in both legs.

Hughes said: "Sir Alex never used to play weakened sides in the competition.

"I seem to recall during my time at Blackburn they were a pretty strong side in the semi-final. We will have to wait and see. That is his decision."

When the two sides met earlier this season, Ferguson described City as "noisy neighbours" and Hughes is intent on giving his former boss a further headache.

City have not won a trophy in 33 years and were last in a domestic semi-final in 1981.

Hughes said: "We will enjoy it. Over two games we would back ourselves against anybody. We want to get to a Wembley final. This club has not had many experiences of that in recent times.

"We need to be in a domestic semi-final and we want to try and win the competition. I have picked strong teams because it is important. Certainly if we had not done that we might have gone out of the cup because we have had some really hard games.

"We have treated the competition with the respect it deserves. We deserve the reward of a semi-final. We want to go one step further if we can."

Striker Carlos Tevez is relishing the challenge of another derby against his former club with a trip to Wembley at stake this time.

Tevez, who made the switch across the city in the summer, said through an interpreter: "It is a 'Clasico'.

"The Manchester City fans want us to win and the important thing is we will be ready for them. It is a special game for me of course."

Tevez has enjoyed some good moments in the Carling Cup and was part of the United side that won the trophy last season.

He helped them along the road in spectacular style last December and four of his 15 goals for the club last season came in the demolition of Blackburn.

Then last night he scored with a thunderous strike in the 3-0 victory against Arsenal to set up the derby showdown.

It was Tevez's fifth goal of the season and three of them have come in the Carling Cup.

"I always like to play regardless (of the competition), " he told www.mcfc.co.uk. "It was good to get the goal as it gave me some confidence.

"It was important for me and the club. I am feeling good about what happened."

Next up for City is an attractive home fixture against leaders Chelsea on Saturday when Hughes is hoping to see his side end a run of seven successive league draws.

He added: "We are at a point now where we are reasonably pleased with where we are. You can't deny we are going in the right direction.

"Comparisons are always made between ourselves and Chelsea. We started from a lot further behind. We need a little bit of time."

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