Date: 10th January 2009 at 9:00am
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Mark Hughes has hardly delivered a rallying cry to the Official Site this morning as our travelling Blues make the long trip south to hear the Chimes…

We shouldn’t be too surprised at the manager’s guarded view for the trip to Portsmouth but again, I can’t help but feel disappointed that we’re not hearing real defiance and the beginnings of a battling siege mentality. Something we thought would be guaranteed with Hughes’ arrival at Eastlands.

‘It will be a tough game, Fratton Park is always a hard place to go to but they are having a bit of a difficult time of it at the moment. They will be looking to turn their season around somewhat.

‘It won’t be easy but to use an old cliché, there are no easy games in the Premier League. If you don’t attain a certain level, you won’t win games. We have to make sure that we are up for the challenge.

‘Hopefully by the time we get to the game there will have been good news on the injury front, because we are a little bit light because of a few knocks that are around, but we are going there with the view that we can get a positive result.

‘They will be certainly looking to improve their performance of that day (last year’s six niller), and we will be looking to match what we produced back then. We were exceptional on that, our attacking play was as good as I have seen from any team for quite some time. I would be delighted if we can replicate that.

‘Portsmouth still has a good team with good, solid Premier League players that understand what it takes to win in this division. It won’t be easy because Fratton Park is always an intimidating atmosphere and you have to deal with that. We’ll go with hopes we can get a positive result, but it is going to be tough.’

So yes, it’s going to be tough and it won’t be easy, but talk of hoping to replicate City’s 6-0 performance smacks of absolute delusion and a degree of desperation.

He’d be delighted, we’d be stunned. Especially as City will be taking the field with a team missing Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland and possibly Robinho, nevermind Benjani.

Hamstring and thigh pulls once again to the fore.

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