Tevez fires City's title warning

Hughes tips former club for Premier League after captain scores twice in 4-1 demolition of Fulham

Mark Hughes said yesterday that he believes his former club Manchester City can win the Premier League title if they are prepared to be as attacking as they were in dispatching Hughes' Fulham 4-1 at Craven Cottage.

Roberto Mancini's team climbed to fourth place in the Premier League and trail the leaders Chelsea by just three points with 14 games played after the champions lost again to Birmingham City on Saturday. City's former manager Mark Hughes described his ex-club's performance yesterday as "the best they have played all season".

There were two goals from Carlos Tevez, now the Premier League's top scorer with nine goals, and two more from Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Touré. Arsenal's defeat to Tottenham mean that City are just a point behind Arsène Wenger's third-placed team.

Hughes, who was sacked by City a year ago next month, said that yesterday represented arguably his former team's best performance of the season so far. "On their performance, certainly [City could win the title]. They were excellent.

"We were complicit in that, with the time we let them have. But they have got as good a chance as anybody.

"If they have the belief and there's forward-thinking and [they are] maybe more attack-minded as they were [against Fulham] on more occasions, there's no reason why they shouldn't be [contenders]"

Watched by Diego Maradona, at Craven Cottage as a guest of the Fulham owner, Mohammed al-Fayed, City belied their reputation as the cautious, defensive side who failed to take the game to Manchester United at home earlier this month.

Mancini shook Hughes' hand after the match despite their pre-match differences of opinion over the rights and wrongs of the way in which the former took the job. The City manager bemoaned the radical swings in opinion as to his merits as a manager capable of taking his extremely ambitious club forward.

Mancini said: "Last week I was a 'stupid manager' who was six points behind. Now, I am 'the best manager' because I'm only three points off the top of the league. This is not important. We must continue to work and improve every game, every day. Only that way can we win. If we have a big problem, a big crisis and we are only three points behind United and Chelsea, then we're doing well. But, in our minds, we must only think about working.

"This is always the way when you're a manager. If you win, you're top. If you lose, you're stupid. I know what happens [after the Fulham result], I'm the best. Last week, I was in the middle because I drew. I played football for 20 years and I've been a manager for 10. I know the way it works. I like it. I like my job, I like football. It's important that, when the squad played like today, it worked well.

"We must check at the end of the season. It doesn't bother me. It's impossible to say if you're the best manager or a stupid manager after 14 games. I always thought I was the best manager. In my career, where I stayed I won. But, usually, those managers who don't win are also good. It's important that the team plays football on the pitch."

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

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat