Hughes offers Robinho backing
Mark Hughes has dispelled suggestions that Robinho's heart is no longer with Manchester City.
Last Updated: 23/03/09 8:36am
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has dispelled suggestions that Robinho's heart is no longer with the club.
The £32.5million capture from Real Madrid made a bright start to life in the Premier League, but has now gone 10 league games without finding the back of the net.
The Brazilian star spurned a great chance to end his drought when he missed from the penalty spot against Sunderland in Sunday's 1-0 success.
Hungry as ever
Hughes was happy with Robinho taking the spot-kick and says the 25-year-old is as hungry as ever to succeed and impress at City.
"Robinho was confident enough to take the ball and try to score," stated Hughes. "He wants to make a positive impact and was obviously disappointed he wasn't able to put the penalty away.
"He kept on trying and had good opportunities in the second half as well. The desire to make amends for the miss was there for everyone to see."
City scraped past the Black Cats thanks to Micah Richards' header and Hughes believes fans should give the defender a little more leeway.
Although Richards has won 11 caps for England, Hughes believes it is important to remind people that the defender is still only 20 and is continuing to learn the game.
"People forget he is only 20," he continued. "Players have fluctuations in form at such a young age but he seems to be coming good at the business end of the season."