Hughes rules out massive spend in future

Mark Hughes declared he would never again oversee the sort of mass changes that have swept through Manchester City in the past two trasfer windows.

Hughes has been by far the biggest summer spender, splashing out almost £120million on new players in a bid to strengthen his squad.

There had been talk of one last addition in the form of David Bentley, although a reunion with a player he helped develop at Blackburn was never high on the agenda, certainly not on a permanent basis as Tottenham hoped.

So, just as he pledged last week at the unveiling of Joleon Lescott and Sylvinho, Hughes resisted the temptation to bring out the chequebook once again.

With eight new faces, the City boss has enough on his hands trying to integrate them all into a squad expected to challenge strongly for a place in the top four.

The Blues have not done too badly so far, winning their opening three Premier League games and advancing into the last 32 of the Carling Cup.

However, Hughes realises such extensive surgery is not desirable, and, given the quality at the Welshman's disposal, neither will it be necessary in future.

"We won't be going into the market to this extent again," declared Hughes.

"There has been an unprecedented change in personnel.

"It was basically a process that should have been done over a three-to-five-year period but we have tried to make it happen in two windows.

"In future we will be looking to acquire players that will add value to the club and become great players at Manchester City rather than going out to the market and paying a premium because we need the players now."

Hughes revealed his rebuilding plans were hatched at a meeting with owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak in Abu Dhabi last December.

By that time it had become clear the City squad just was not durable enough for the demands now being placed upon it, so Hughes received the green light to make the necessary changes.

High-profile targets did prove elusive as both Kaka and John Terry ultimately rejected advances from Eastlands.

However, the squad Hughes now has at his disposal is certainly one of the most extensive in England, packed with experience and quality.

"The vast majority of the team is in my design," he said.

"Someone put a graphic on TV the other day which showed all the positions in the team filled with my signings.

"We are in good shape now, as we have bought well, and are in a better position than we were 12 months ago."

It could also be argued that now there can be no excuses.

Victories over Blackburn, Wolves and Burnley may have maintained the feel-good factor around City generated by the wave of additions, notably Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez, whose status as a man that rejected life at United means he is now a cult hero at his new home.

It will be matches immediately after the international break against Arsenal and Sir Alex Ferguson's side at Old Trafford that will provide a pointer to the progress City have made, and how much needs to be done over the coming nine months.

For Hughes, the man presented with an opportunity few, even in the top four, are afforded, it is a challenge to relish.

"It has been a really exciting time and there has been a huge amount of interest in what we have been doing," he said.

"That can be a bad thing but it can also be stimulating.

"We have all enjoyed the attention. It raises expectation but we have had that for nine months now.

"It is not something that fazes us. We are enjoying being where we are."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...