Hughes seeking 'impact players' in January

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The Independent Online

Mark Hughes has admitted he will try and sign players who can make an "immediate impact" during the January transfer window as he tries to revive Manchester City's fortunes.

City have slid into the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League and a 2-1 reversal at West Brom on Sunday means they have collected just five points from the last nine games.

Hughes insists he has been given assurances by club owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak that he will be at the helm to embark on a spending spree.

But, although building for the long term future at Eastlands, the former Wales boss is also aware he needs to address the current situation as quickly as possible.

Hughes said: "I think everyone understands there are certain areas of the squad which need strengthening and we will look to address those in the window.

"We are looking to bring good quality players to the club to help our situation and make sure that the club is moving forward in the future.

"There is no guarantee how many of those players we will be able to bring to the club. It is clear from everyone's point of view that we do need help.

"I think there is a big project and a big plan here for the club moving forward and people understand that.

"At the moment, it is a little bit hard for us because we are in the situation that we didn't anticipate or envisage - in the bottom three."

Hughes added: "We need to make sure we are positive, get the right players in that will have an immediate impact and, if we can do that, very quickly we will move forward.

"It is a process that is ongoing. We are not going to be able to change the culture and the mindset and the philosophy right through the club overnight.

"It is an impossibility. What you need is an ability to bring the right people in and make sure you grow the club and the team from within."

Hughes also concedes that some players may have struggled to deal with the expectation and high profile that now surrounds City after the takeover of the club.

He said: "We have to be able to understand that the focus that is placed on Manchester City at this time is huge and probably bigger than it has ever been in Manchester City's history.

"Some people will be able to deal with that and other people will struggle with that focus. You have to understand that is where we are and we have to move forward with that focus.

"If, in the future, we are able to make sure good players come to club, it becomes a positive focus. At the moment it is a negative focus because we are in the bottom three which we didn't anticipate.

"Everyone has to be realistic about the expectations and where we are at this moment in time.

"If we can get good players in, that will supplement the players that were on show today, and the ones that were missing, then we will move forward.

"But at the moment, in the short term, we are struggling in that respect."

Hughes will be hoping for a positive response from Elano after dropping him completely from his squad for the game at The Hawthorns because of recent poor form.

He said: "Elano wasn't injured for Sunday's game. He was at home. I decided it wasn't a game for him. In recent weeks, his performance level hasn't been at the level it needs to be.

"I had different ideas and options I tried at West Brom so he wasn't involved."

Striker Benjani Mwaruwari is battling to be fit for the festive programme after suffering a thigh injury against Tony Mowbray's side.

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