Hughes defends handling of Robinho

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The Independent Football

Mark Hughes insists there is not one rule for Robinho and another for everybody else at Manchester City.

Hughes hauled Robinho into his office yesterday to discuss the fall-out from the Brazilian's decision to quit City's warm-weather training camp in Tenerife last week and return to South America.

In his statement at the time, Robinho suggested he had Hughes' permission. The reality was somewhat different, leading to a belief the 25-year-old, who cost City a British record £32.5m when he arrived from Real Madrid in the summer, would be handed a massive two-week fine for going AWOL.

Yet Hughes awoke to headlines attacking his handling of the affair and claiming Robinho had not been fined at all, a fact confirmed by the player's agent.

Hughes accepts there has been no fine. But the former Wales boss revealed that fact is only due to the disciplinary process running its lengthy course.

And when punishment is meted out, it will be exactly the same as any lesser-profile member of the Blues squad could expect.

"Let's make this clear," said Hughes.

"Robinho will be treated in exactly the same manner as any other player at Manchester City. Everybody knows that.

"There is no special case here.

"I have had a talk with Robinho and I have read some of the stuff that has been written. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Robinho was told my feelings about the situation and the intention is to fine him.

"But there is a disciplinary procedure that has to be gone through. When that has run its course then Robinho will face some disciplinary measures."

Hughes has no intention of publicly declaring what those measures will be but a maximum two-week fine could be anticipated, which would cost Robinho around £200,000.

And it seems whatever the intricacies of the discussion, Hughes and his star player remain on good terms.

Robinho was at City's Carrington training ground this morning and is expected to start against Newcastle at Eastlands tomorrow as Hughes' side look to extend a three-match unbeaten Premier League run.

"I don't really care what people say because some of the stuff is incorrect," said Hughes.

"It has been addressed and dealt with. We have got a match against Newcastle and that is what we are looking forward to now."