Hughes finds reason to be cheerful as derby looms

The Manchester City manager, Mark Hughes, insists his team will approach the derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday with a spring in their step.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side gave an awesome display of power and precision on Tuesday night at the Emirates in London by demolishing Arsenal 4-1 on aggregate to reach the Champions League final for a second successive season.

While Hughes was an interested spectator, he feels his own side have a bit to boast about going into the game against his former club after four wins on the spin. "Irrespective of who we are up against on the pitch on Sunday, it's about us being positive. We are going there in good heart and with confidence," he said.

"We have won our last four games and you have to go to Old Trafford in the belief you can get something out of it. We are in good shape. I was looking with interest in regard to who wasn't playing as much as who was. You look at the bench and they've still got great quality they can call upon.

"Sir Alex seems to have the knack of being able to get the rotation correct. The performances don't seem to suffer when he makes those changes in personnel – and that's because of the quality he has available to him."

The winger Shaun Wright-Phillips looks likely to be available again after a five-match absence because of a knee problem as City aim to push on and try to achieve a seventh-place finish in the table. That slot would secure a berth in Europe for a second successive season and underline the club's ambition and improve their prospects of attracting leading players to the club for next season.

Hughes added: "It's a big game and one we need to get something out of. If we pick up points from our last three matches we'll go close."

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