Hughes - No Robinho concerns
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes insisted he had no concerns about selecting Robinho to face Newcastle.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 28/01/09 11:42pm
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes insisted he had no concerns about naming Robinho in his starting XI against Newcastle.
The Brazil international has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks, but responded in the perfect manner against the Magpies.
Reports of unrest at City following his Tenerife training camp exit were followed by the player being questioned by police over allegations of a serious sexual assault in Leeds.
Former Real Madrid ace Robinho was at the heart of much of City's best play, producing a series of flicks and tricks, but also incisive passes and driving runs.
He set up Shaun Wright-Phillips for the opening goal with an instant control and pass from Wayne Bridge's cross from the left and was a constant menace throughout.
Craig Bellamy looked to have sealed victory for City against his former club in the 77th minute only for Andy Carroll's swift response to set up a finale which was far tenser than it should have been for the hosts.
Hughes told Sky Sports: "He was very focused. I spoke to him this morning and he was very clear that he was ready and he was prepared for the game.
"He put in a great performance and the interplay between himself and Craig looks very encouraging.
"It is a difficult situation, we're fully supportive of him, we're fully supportive of the process that has to be gone through."
Hughes also paid tribute to Bellamy after the striker scored on his debut, the first time he has achieved the feat for the eight clubs he has represented.
The City boss added: "His movement all night long and his willingness to work for the team was capped by a great goal."
Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given, who has been strongly linked with a move to Eastlands, was not involved with his manager Joe Kinnear insisting he had an ankle injury.
Hughes confirmed he was keen to bring the Republic of Ireland international to the club, but claimed he had no further news on the progress of any possible transfer.
He said: "We put a bid in a couple of weeks back. I was concentrating on the game and preparing the team and I've had no update on that.
"He's a good quality keeper and I've said for quite some time that we need an experienced keeper to back up the exceptionally talented young keepers that we have here."