Hughes slams City slackers
Pemberton revels in Forest triumph
Last Updated: 03/01/09 7:23pm
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes believes his players were not 'brave' enough in their FA Cup defeat by Nottingham Forest.
"They have to be brave enough to perform in matches. Today some were guilty of not doing that."
Mark Hughes on his City players Quotes of the week
The Premier League outfit were stunned at home by Championship strugglers Forest with Nathan Tyson, Robert Earnshaw and Joe Garner securing a deserved victory for the visitors.
Hughes insists he remains the man for the job at Eastlands, but the pressure is mounting with club owners the Abu Dhabi United Group having already laid out their ambitious plans for the future.
New signing Wayne Bridge was unveiled before the game, but he watched on in shock from the stands as his new team-mates were run ragged.
Hughes said: "I know exactly what is needed here.
"The work we do on a day-to-day basis makes players better. They have to be brave enough to perform in matches. Today some were guilty of not doing that.
"We know where we are in development terms and we know where we need to go.
"We know the areas of the squad we have to strengthen and we will try to do that. It is not going to happen in this window, or even two or three. We need more time."
Hughes feared the worst when he lost Shaun Wright-Phillips after only 18 minutes with a hamstring injury that could keep him out for up to five weeks.
With Robinho and Stephen Ireland also sidelined, the hosts lacked any semblance of creativity and capitulated to what the City boss admitted was a deserved loss.
"We are bitterly disappointed with the level of performance that we produced today," he said. "Nottingham Forest fully deserved to win.
"They showed more desire and energy in their play. They forced us into errors and took their chances.
"I didn't expect the other team to show more desire but I am just being honest," he said. "I am not telling anyone anything they didn't see themselves. I have known the frailties in the team from day one."
The match proved a memorable cameo for Forest caretaker boss John Pemberton, who will return to his duties with the reserve team when new manager Billy Davies takes charge next week.
"Billy spoke with the players this morning but he wanted to leave it today because it was such short notice," said Pemberton.
"I just wanted the lads to give a good account of themselves and get them ready to play.
"Winning is fantastic but on Monday morning I will be back to my normal job, getting the reserve team ready for a game against Lincoln City away on Wednesday.
"That is how things are in football. You get highs and lows. I have been at Nottingham Forest a long time and I am happy to work at the club.
"Today was probably the highlight of my career," he added. "To win 3-0 against a Manchester City side stuffed with talent - and deserve it - was fabulous."