Hughes dismisses critics as City stay in hunt for Lescott

Manager determined to bid again for Everton player after £19m offer is rejected

Mark Hughes was defiant yesterday in the face of attacks from Sir Alex Ferguson and Martin O'Neill and said that Manchester City did not care about the criticism that their transfer policy has attracted this season. The City manager also said his club would bid again for Joleon Lescott after a second offer of £19m was rejected.

Having also endured criticism from Phil Neville yesterday for City's pursuit of Everton's Lescott, Hughes said he had been prepared for the backlash against City for some time. However he said that even the reaction to spending more than £95m on six players this summer was nothing compared to the "thick skin" he had to develop last season when his future was a constant source of discussion.

Hughes said: "We know that is going to happen this season and we have already talked about it between ourselves so we're ready for it. The only way we can stop people having negative things to say about us is by winning football matches and, even then, we will probably get negative comments.

"All the expectation will be on us, a hell of a lot of focus, but we have come to deal with that. We had 12 months of it last year and that was when we didn't have players with the ability to get to those expectations. We've got a better chance and we have to live up to those expectations now."

Last week Ferguson dismissed City as a "small club with a small mentality" for their part in a city centre poster "welcoming" Carlos Tevez to Manchester but Hughes said that he believed his former manager had failed to recognise the spirit in which the joke had been intended.

"I've got great respect for him [Ferguson]," Hughes said. "I think he got a little upset about our poster campaign – although to call it a campaign is wrong because there was only one.

"It was really just a bit of fun between the two sets of supporters and I think it was taken in that manner. I didn't get too het up about it but obviously Sir Alex did. I've seen those comments [about City overpaying for players] but I've said before that our valuation could well be different from other clubs. It's obviously different to Sir Alex's valuation but, to us, these players are invaluable. We feel we have done good deals on every player."

Hughes said the club needed another "top-quality" centre-back especially because Vincent Kompany, who has played in that position, would not be fit until October. "We put in bids we think are realistic, we may have pitched at the wrong level and Everton obviously feel that is the case," he said. "I obviously have admiration for what I feel Lescott can bring us but if we're not able to come to an agreement with Everton that's as far as it goes. It's entirely up to Everton because he's their player."

There was also a barb for O'Neill who has lost Gareth Barry to City. Hughes said the Aston Villa manager's claims that City should win the Premier League given their level of investment were self-serving. "There are a number of managers in and around us that possibly use our situation to lessen the expectation of their own club and Martin isn't the only manager to say we should win the title," Hughes said. "It just maybe eases the pressure a little bit on them."

Speaking for the first time about the failure to sign John Terry from Chelsea, Hughes once again underlined just how close the England captain was to a move despite his recent protestations. He said: "Chelsea were very adamant in their stance and worked exceptionally hard to make JT understand his value to them. He was under a lot of pressure to make a decision and he's come out and decided to stay, so we have to respect that."

In a rather more tortuous explanation for his departure from Arsenal, City's new signing Kolo Touré said that it was the "love" that City showed him that persuaded him to move. Although for love, it would be politic to read "money". Touré said: "They've showed that they really want me and I'm really happy. I've always said that when you love a woman and she gives you the love back, you're really happy and that's what it's like with Manchester City. They've given me the love and I'm delighted to give the love back."

City's Brazilian midfielder Elano has joined Galatasaray in a deal believed to be worth around £6m.

95

The millions of pounds that Mark Hughes has spent on six players so far this summer.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor