Bad news mounting for City chief

BY foxsports • December 16, 2009

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes was left reeling after Joleon Lescott's injury and a lacklustre defeat at Tottenham on Wednesday evening.

England centre-back Lescott has undergone surgery and will be out for up to two months, with the news emerging on the eve of the 3-0 defeat at White Hart Lane courtesy of Niko Kranjcar's double and Jermain Defoe's strike.

Hughes substituted Robinho for Roque Santa Cruz before the hour mark and the Brazil international headed straight to the dressing room rather than joining his team-mates on the bench.

"He wasn't injured," Hughes said. "There is no hard-and-fast rule that he has to sit on the bench. He started reasonably well down the left-hand side. He was involved and linked with our front guys but as the game wore on he found it more difficult to have a positive impact so we made a change."

In the clash between the two teams with aspirations to qualify for the Champions League, Hughes was disappointed with his team's failure to perform.

"We're disappointed," he said. "We didn't hit any kind of level. For the first 30 minutes we took the game to them but in terms of producing a real threat we were not creating.

"At the moment we are having difficulty when the ball goes into the box. We were disappointed at half-time because we thought we should have done better with the goal. The second goal killed us.

"There are no excuses, we missed personnel and were lacking width because of that but we had a team good enough to get a positive result."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp feels City will still challenge for a Champions League place and will be title contenders within five years.

Backed by the billions from City's owners, Hughes can go into the transfer window next month, but Redknapp warned: "It's about getting the right players. Sometimes you have star players who don't perform. You saw the game, you see people out there and you think they missed Craig Bellamy."

Of Robinho's performance, Redknapp said: "We kept him quiet," Redknapp added. "Charlie (Vedran Corluka) played him well and he wasn't a threat."

Spurs returned to winning ways after losing to Wolves at the weekend.

"People over-react to one result, suddenly you are finished and out of the race," Redknapp said. "It's unbelievable, the over-reaction. But this is the game."

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