Hughes calls for strength at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has told his players to stand up and be counted as he prepares to strengthen in the transfer window.

Hughes has substantial funds for investment thanks to the financial muscle of owners the Abu Dhabi United Group.

On the flip side, a number of his squad will be nervously looking over their shoulders in the next few weeks.

Hughes wants a positive response.

"There should not be an issue but maybe players are possibly being affected by that," he said.

"I have not seen it in their play but as a professional footballer you've got to put that situation to the back of your mind.

"You need to be strong mentally and take up the challenge. If you do that then the future at Manchester City will be there for you.

"But it is difficult for everybody at the moment. We need to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible because this run has gone on for too long."

City have dropped into the relegation zone after winning only one of their last nine games in all competitions.

Next up is a home game against Hull on Boxing Day and Hughes is anxious for his side to regain that winning mentality.

"We're losing players and that continuity of selection, which all the teams that have a reasonable amount of success seem to have," he told mcfc.co.uk.

"But we've got to keep on making sure that we're doing the right things on a daily basis.

"In the end with a little bit more quality added to squad then things will turn for the better."

Meanwhile, France midfielder Lassana Diarra has revealed City offered him a greater financial package than Real Madrid.

Diarra, however, opted to move to Spain and passed a medical yesterday en route to completing his move from Portsmouth for a reported £20m fee.

He told L'Equipe: "Were Manchester City keen to sign me? Yes, indeed. On a financial level, I would have earned a lot more.

"But Real are very attractive. I believe I have earned respect. I was in England for five years and learnt a lot of things there.

"I became very attached to the Premier League. You can't leave it that easily. But Real came, and I was their priority. That makes you think. It is an honour."

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