Hughes haunted by lack of wins and spectre of Hiddink

Manchester City 1 Hull City 1

Mark Hughes' position as Manchester City manager is not in imminent jeopardy but his club's Abu Dhabi owners are now looking for results in December as evidence that their £200m investment in players is money well spent.

The Al-Nahyan family want to see Hughes, a manager in whom they wish to continue putting trust, to prevail but the availability of Guus Hiddink since Russia's elimination from the 2010 World Cup has added pressure on the Welshman, who is aware he needs to start delivering more than the club's succession of seven draws.

Hiddink's success as manager at Chelsea last season demonstrated that he has the capability of moving in to manage an established group of highly paid players like those at Stamford Bridge and he would be a manager who could build on – rather than rebuild – what the Abu Dhabi United Group has created at Eastlands. The City chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, was present to see this disappointing draw on Saturday and has agreed the target of a sixth-place finish with Hughes, who is at least in touch with that aspiration.

Chelsea at home next Saturday is a fixture which comes at an unwelcome time, though it is in the fixtures which follow that Hughes knows he and his players must really start to deliver. City travel to Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur, then entertain Sunderland and Stoke City before the trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers for the last game of the year. An away draw at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup in the new year is not the easiest tie.

It does not help that in four of the last five of City's seven straight draws, winning positions have been given away, which is what happened on Saturday, with the Blues surrendering their lead to a penalty eight minutes from full-time. City, resting Gareth Barry, had Robinho back, after three months missing, in a line-up driven by the dynamism of Carlos Tevez that did produce moments of sizzling attack. But Hughes could only be honest in his assessment. "At times we look accomplished and a threat, attacking-wise," he said. "At others we look what we are, a team that has been brought together quickly."

Others at least share his view of City's potential, among them Jimmy Bullard, who scored Hull's equaliser and led a hilarious celebration in honour of their beleaguered manager Phil Brown, mocking last season's on-field dressing-down administered by him on the same pitch.

"If you don't hit the back of the net it counts for nothing, I suppose, but they are a class act and whenever they have the ball you are scared," Bullard said. "You've got Robinho, Tevez and Adebayor up there and you think, 'Hold up, what's going to happen?'

"It's only a matter of time before it starts to click and I don't think it will be very long."

After the meeting with Arsenal in the Carling Cup on Wednesday, City's game against Chelsea at Eastlands next Saturday will be taken as a measure of where they are.

Manchester City (4-1-3-2): Given; Richards, Touré, Lescott, Bridge; De Jong; Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Robinho (Bellamy, 75); Adebayor (Santa Cruz, 67), Tevez. Substitutes not used: Taylor (gk), Onuoha, Johnson, Kompany, Weiss.

Hull City (4-4-1-1): Duke; McShane, Zayatte, Gardner, Dawson; Garcia, Marney (Boateng 62), Bullard, Hunt; Geovanni (Barmby, 61); Altidore (Vennegoor of Hesselink, 73). Substitutes not used: Myhill (gk), Kilbane, Mouyokolo, Ghilas.

Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire).

Bookings: Manchester City De Jong; Hull Dawson, McShane, Zayatte.

Man of the match: Tevez.

Attendance: 46,382.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions