On the eve of Aalborg’s last stand in Europe against Manchester City, Mark Hughes looks at the big picture and declares MCFC is ready to go for glory…
‘We only got in the competition because we won the Fairplay League. We’re probably grateful to be in there, but it was an opportunity we wanted to take.
‘Other clubs took a different view of the competition and prioritised the Premier League. We like to think we’ve concentrated on both. We’re proud to be the last English club standing. We’d be even prouder to get to a European final.
The gaffer then looked back on what has been achieved over an energy sapping campaign that saw City fly to a superb victory in Schalke with only 18 fit players:
‘Did we think we’d do so well? When you looked at it from the start of the campaign there were some fantastic teams in there, even before the Champions League drop-outs came in.
‘So it’s been an achievement up to this point – but we’d like to see something more substantial at the end of it. If we can keep going we will reap the benenfit, not just this season but in future in terms of experience.’
Above all else, the hardcore travelling army and the 25,000 Blues who have braved the Eastlands elements throughout this campaign will hopefully get their reward for all their loyal support.
Hughes then weighed up the mission to defeat Aalborg:
‘They are a good side. People shouldn’t underestimate the task that is ahead of us.
‘They have caused good teams problems in the past and people shouldn’t be distracted by how well we played in the first leg.
‘They didn’t play as well as people expected because of the manner of our performance.
‘If they get ahead they are likely to cause you problems. We have to make sure we are in control of the tie.’
City (from): Given, Hart, Schmeichel, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, Garrido, Zabaleta, Wright-Phillips, Elano, Caicedo, Ireland, Fernandes, Vassell, Weiss, Robinho, Evans, Berti, Etuhu.
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO THE CARL RAMSBOTTOM APPEAL:
On 27 November 2008, Carl travelled over to Germany to watch his beloved side play Schalke in the UEFA Cup, however due to a tragic incident at a German train station, Carl suffered life threatening injuries.
Due to this horrendous incident, Carl ended up in a coma for three weeks. He is currently in a rehabilitation unit in Germany while his family remain by his bedside.
The family are hopeful that Carl might be in a position to be repatriated to a rehab unit within the United Kingdom, hopefully sometime this month.
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