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Manchester City set to kick on in final third of season?

The chances are that Manchester City are not quite finished in terms of their January spending. However, the new recruits of Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge and Nigel De Jong should go some way to making sure that the final 15 games of the Premier League season are successful for Mark Hughes’ team.

The victory over Newcastle last night was an important one. It meant that the ‘new look’ team was off to a good start, that the latest controversy surrounding Robinho was put on the back burner and most importantly, it meant that Manchester City climbed up to 9th in the table.

In recent weeks they had been far too close to the relegation zone for a team with their ambitions and even though they are still only seven points above Middlesbrough in 18th, you get the feeling that the football odds will suggest that their relegation worries are now officially over.

The whole performance from Manchester City impressed me. They looked lively, confident and assured throughout. Then, their attacking threat (which has been there all season) was as significant as ever. Overall, they probably should have won by more than the 2-1 score line.

Manchester City’s starting line-up was something else that makes me think that they will kick on in the coming weeks. It just had a really good look about it.

Inevitably though, the focus was on three players in particular for slightly different reasons. Bellamy and De Jong were making their debuts and everyone was curious at how Robinho would react after recent events. Let’s take a brief look at their performances.

Bellamy was superb in my opinion. He had a really positive impact on the team. Of course, his goal is what people will remember, but there was more to it than that. His direct style, pace and power will be so valuable to the team.

De Jong also put in a very assured first performance. He and Stephen Ireland dictated the midfield for the majority. I can see him becoming the unsung hero of this team.

Finally, no matter what people say about Robinho, he is a genuinely world-class performer. He can produce moments of magic, much like he did to set up Wright-Phillips for the first goal. Robinho, Bellamy and Wright-Phillips is a superb attacking trio and not many defences will be looking forward to facing Man City now.

In all fairness though, Manchester City have performed extremely well before (Arsenal at Eastlands for example) and then not followed it up with a decent run of results. However, with Stoke and Middlesbrough coming up, I get the feeling that we are in for a spell of decent results for Mark Hughes and Manchester City.

By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting

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