Hughes: Positive results will appease negative press

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has challenged his team to produce consistently positive performances and results in order for the incessant negative press about the club to subside.

Expectation levels at Eastlands have soared since the takeover of the club by the Abu Dhabi United Group, with the Blues' attempts to sign AC Milan playmaker Kaka for a fee in excess of £100 million eventually falling through.

But with City's results on the pitch stuttering, particularly away from home, press speculation regarding Hughes' job and relations between team-mates has intensified.

However, after Sunday's encouraging 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield, Hughes hopes his side have turned a corner on their travels and can now set off on an extended unbeaten run to quieten the many critics.

"People have to see some of the stories about us for what they are," he told the Manchester Evening News. "There are people out there, for whatever reason, with an agenda.

"The amount of negativity written about us is almost unbelievable. I have never known anything like it. But the only way we will turn that around is by having positive performances and positive results.

"That's what we had at Anfield on Sunday, but we must keep it going because there are people out there who want us to fail.

"We have to understand that is where we are at and we will just keep working hard with a group of players who are determined to succeed.

"People, I think, expected us to be challenging almost immediately, but that was an impossibility.

"We are trying to impose a new culture right through the club and if you look at all the teams in and around the top six or seven they have been together for a substantial amount of time and we are still very early in our development.

"We recognise that, but maybe some people don't, or don't want to recognise it. They don't want to give us any credit and we understand that there are people out there who don't particularly want us to be successful in the future.

"We have to live with that and work with it in the short term because on occasions we will disappoint ourselves and our fans.

"I think we saw on Sunday that we have the makings of a good team. We have just got to be strong and take any valid criticism that comes our way in our stride. All the other rubbish that is written or broadcast we can ignore."

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