Indiscipline is not a problem at Manchester City, according to manager Mark Hughes, who has insisted that he has the backing of the club’s billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan to enforce his own code of behaviour.
City’s record signing Robinho courted unwelcome controversy this week when he left the club’s warm-weather training camp in Tenerife, without permission, to return home to Brazil.
Hughes has since revealed he will deal with the matter internally, but the timing of Robinho’s disappearing act served to further undermine City in a week when AC Milan midfielder Kaka snubbed their lucrative offer to move to Eastlands.
Despite that Hughes remains convinced the club’s lofty ambitions remain on track and warned that should players step out of line in that quest, he will have the backing of Sheikh Mansour to dish out whatever punishment he deems necessary.
“I will deal with Robinho in such a way that I absolutely would not expect this to happen again and I feel confident that if there was a longer problem with any player, even Robinho, I would have the go-ahead from Sheikh Mansour to deal with it in whatever way I saw fit,” Hughes told the Daily Mail.
Hughes was also keen to dismiss speculation that Robinho’s decision to return to his homeland suggested he was already looking for a way out of Eastlands, less than six months after signing for 32.5million pounds.
Hughes said he was sick of talk he needed to convince Robinho of the club’s ambitions, especially after a below-par start to the current campaign which finds them in the bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table.
“People talk about assurances to Robinho, but any reassurances would just be repetition. He knows how I feel,” he added.
“I have always felt that the top players are easier to control because they have a professional mentality and a winning mentality and that is why they are at the top.
“Now it seems a bit bizarre to be talking like this considering what has happened with Robinho, but it will be addressed, mainly because I expect certain standards from my best guys.
“I have no problem with good footballers.
“The ones that are a problem are those ones that have a higher opinion of their ability than is apparent and a higher opinion of their worth to the team.”
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