Hughes defends Robinho snub
Mark Hughes has defended his decision to bench Robinho in Manchester City's defeat at home to Fulham.
Last Updated: 14/04/09 9:07am
Mark Hughes has defended his decision to bench Robinho in Manchester City's defeat at home to Fulham on Sunday.
The beleaguered Eastlands boss endured a miserable afternoon as he watched his side take a first-half lead through Stephen Ireland's deflected strike, before capitulating after the break in falling to a 3-1 defeat.
As chants of 'you don't know what you're doing' reverberated around the stadium Hughes was left to reflect on a loss that leaves City 11th in the table, with aspirations of securing European football for next season fading fast.
Hughes eventually summoned Robinho from the substitutes' bench in the 63rd minute but the Brazilian, shy of form of late, was unable to provide any kind of respite.
Of the opinion that supporters can on occasion take a simplistic view of the game, Hughes said: "Sometimes shouting for individual players to come on is maybe a bit simplistic.
"We just didn't have enough energy levels - the effects of the Hamburg game were significant.
"We were missing key senior players, so it was a case of getting some energy into the team and also protecting a few players as well.
"He (Robinho) has had a great first season but has played a lot of games and today was one of the few occasions I felt he would benefit from a break."
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson has backed his City counterpart to prove his sceptics wrong at Eastlands; of the opinion the Welshman has done a good job in his debut campaign at the helm.
"Mark Hughes is doing a fine job," said Hodgson.
"An awful lot has changed at Manchester City in a short period of time.
"Mark will need time to fashion the club in the way he wants. But he had no time to start with.
"He will get it in the summer and I am sure, good manager he is, he will succeed in putting together a Manchester City team that will be challenging for honours."