Hughes hails City 'character'
Man City boss Mark Hughes praised the 'character' of his side following their 2-2 draw at Blackburn.
Last Updated: 28/12/08 8:32pm
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes praised the 'character' of his side following their late 2-2 draw at former club Blackburn Rovers.
Hughes left Rovers to take over at City in the summer and the Welshman looked to be destined for defeat upon his return to Ewood Park.
Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts scored to hand Rovers a two-goal lead, but City struck twice in the final two minutes through Daniel Sturridge and Robinho to rescue a point.
And despite recently insisting that his side were not in a relegation battle, under-pressure Hughes lauded the spirit of his team as their comeback secured a two-point advantage over the drop zone.
"When it gets to the last stages, and the situation we are, we were struggling a little bit, Hughes told Sky Sports 1.
"But the lads showed some fantastic effort and great commitment to keep going and I think we deserved something out of the game.
"It is difficult because we were playing back-to-back games, it was the same for both teams, and the spark for flowing football just wasn't there today.
"For much of the first half the ball was bypassing our midfield. What we had to do in the second half was get the ball down and try and pick the right pass at the right time.
"In the end we got our reward because we showed great character."
Meanwhile, Hughes is eager to persuade Sturridge, who has attracted interest from Chelsea, to commit his long-term future to the Eastlands outfit.
"I want to keep Daniel at the club because this is the best place for him to learn," added Hughes.
"We want to bring some good players here and that will create the right type of environment that is conducive to good football.
"I think negotiations are quite close now.
"For some reason Daniel has been allowed to get in the last year of his contract, which swings the situation back towards the player.
"If I had been here then, I would not have allowed it to happen."