“We had to try and focus on the game which was difficult because of the interest that has surrounded events earlier in the week, I thought we really stuck to our test. We showed great qualities for the circumstances we find ourselves in.”
Not much praise for our victory yesterday, but a battling 1-0 victory has been a rarity in recent times for us, given our wins this season have all been by comfortable margins.
It was an important three points for us, and whilst the media continue to peddle talk of relegation, we are now only six points off Wigan in seventh place and start the 2009 campaign in good heart.
Once again. Hughes sprung a surprise with his line-up, moving Micah Richards to right back, Pablo Zabaleta into midfield and Nedum Onouha at centre half. On current form, Richards is a better option at right back than centre half, and it is clear that Onouha is more comfortable in the middle. A tricky decision for Hughes in who to leave out of that trio was rendered irrelevant in the short term given Richard Dunne's red card.
He now has the unwanted title of the most red carderd player in Premier League history and of course faces a three game suspension, effectively up to the end of the transfer window. If certain players are brought into the club over the next couple of weeks, could Dunne remain on the sidelines?
Good to see Vladimir Weiss on the bench yesterday. From the limited action I have seen him in, he looks a real talent and proof that Hughes is willing to continue to give opportunities.
Newcastle and Stoke up next to round out the month (with no game next Saturday of course). Six points are really there for the taking given the current form of both those sides. Coupled with some new faces it could be a good month indeed.