Hughes demands more effort from Manchester City

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The Independent Football

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has demanded more workrate and effort from his superstars at Eastlands as they look to get back to winning ways against Sunderland on Saturday.

City failed to build on their morale-boosting Barclays Premier League victory over Chelsea at the start of the month and dropped points at Bolton before losing at Tottenham in midweek, with Robinho and Emmanuel Adebayor among the players to disappoint at White Hart Lane.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp suggested Hughes missed the hard work of Craig Bellamy, who was suspended but is expected to return for the home clash against Steve Bruce's men at the weekend.

"There is a minimum requirement in terms of workrate and effort and (against Spurs) we didn't have a platform to be able to get into people's faces and close people down," Hughes said.

"We don't profess to be the finished article and that was shown. We have to pick ourselves up. We've got a big game at the weekend and it's important we get back on track."

Nigel de Jong is suspended for the Sunderland game, while Nedum Onuoha could remain in defence as Joleon Lescott requires knee surgery that will rule him out for up to two months.

Hughes was not planning on bringing players in during January but with Lescott injured and fellow centre-back Kolo Toure going to the African Nations Cup, he admitted: "We will see what's out there."

Lescott's injury also brings into focus the decision to sell Richard Dunne, who has played a key role in Aston Villa establishing themselves as top-four candidates.

There is still an expectation of City climbing into the Champions League places - and midfielder Gareth Barry insists they have to bounce back straight away from the Spurs defeat.

Barry said: "We've only got a couple of days to put it right, but we want to repay the fans that came down to Spurs and put a good performance in for them."

Barry revealed the general disappointment in the City dressing room after the 3-0 defeat at White Hart Lane.

Barry said: "It's obviously very disappointing, because I thought in the first half an hour we played some really good football and there was nothing in the game.

"But once they scored we really did not create anything until the last 20 minutes. We are very disappointed and we are really hurting in the changing room, and the best thing we can do is try to put it right on Saturday.

"We knew that the first goal would be important, with them being at home their confidence was bound to grow. They had looked a bit nervous early on and if we had gone in front it could have been a different story.

"Shay (Given) had not had too many saves to make, we played some good stuff at times and got some shots away. We were also a bit unlucky with a couple of offsides, but there are not too many positives to take and plenty of things to put right."