Forget Stoke, West Brom or Middlesbrough. If Portsmouth could have hand-picked Saturday’s opponents at Fratton Park, it probably would have been Manchester City, with Mark Hughes’ team without a win on the road since August. Indeed, their 3-0 victory at Sunderland in the summer now seems like a distant memory for supporters, who might have expected the recent new signings to spell an improvement away from Eastlands.
However, once again, City performed badly against a team who had previously been without a win since November. The Manchester Evening News reports that Mark Hughes cut a disconsolate figure at Fratton Park, explaining why Elano and Robinho could not make a mark on the game, despite performing so brilliantly for Brazil during the week.
“At the end of the day international friendlies are different to Premier League games,” said Hughes.
“Opposition in the Premier League will try and stop the threat of outstanding football players and today Robbie and Ela, among others, found it difficult to stamp their ability on the game.
“It’s not just those two, but a number of players: that’s why we struggled.
“Basically you need a number of players playing at the top of their ability to Premier League games. If you don’t hit that level as a team you’ll get beaten and that’s what has happened today.”
Manchester City supporters, do you think that Mark Hughes is at fault for not motivating the players to perform to the best of their ability? Is the problem that Robinho wasn’t signed by the Welshman, and that Sparky is forced to build the team around someone who is pretty poor away from home? Simply why have the team not been up for the fight on their travels this season?