Double first pleases Hughes
- Wed 30 Sep 2009, 12:03PM
- Posted byTim Oscroft
Two long-awaited first appearances for the 2009/10 season in Monday’s win over West Ham have given Mark Hughes an added boost ahead of next week’s visit to Villa Park.
The Blues’ boss was able to give Roque Santa Cruz and Michael Johnson valuable game-time towards the end of the impressive 3-1 victory over the Hammer, with his former Blackburn charge finally making his bow for City following his summer transfer.
Johnson’s own substitute appearance, after a year away with a niggling abdominal injury, was another welcome sight and with a week between Barclays Premier League fixtures as well as a reserve outing on Tuesday the highly-rated midfielder is adding to Hughes’ options.
The Manager said: “It was important for them to be able to get on against West Ham. I'm glad I had the chance to introduce them again, and for Roque it was his debut, so it was nice for him to get that out of the way.
“For Michael, it's been too long that he's been out of a City shirt so to see him out there was a boost for everybody.”
Two successive Monday night games are giving City a touch more preparation time, something Hughes welcomes in the wake of a draining derby/Carling Cup double-header last week.
“This is a good time for us. Last week was very intense, but we came through with two good results after the disappointment of the derby. We'll just make sure that we recover, as we always do, to get fit and ready for Monday,” he added.
For Michael, it's been too long that he's been out of a City shirt so to see him out there was a boost for everybody.
Roque Santa Cruz received a warm welcome from his new home fans when coming on to replace Shaun Wright-Phillips, something that delighted the 28-year-old: “When you're new at a club you always want to do your best, but I was really pleased with the reception I had and I just wanted to thank people for the way they have believed in me.”