Hughes hoping Robinho can rediscover form

MANCHESTER CITY boss Mark Hughes is hoping Robinho can hit the goal trail again now the threat of legal action against his star striker has been lifted.

The Brazilian £32.5million (e36m) forward was informed on Monday night that he will face no action over the allegations of sexual assault that were made against him in January.

Robinho always protested his innocence, and West Yorkshire Police have now confirmed the matter has been dropped.

It leaves the Brazilian free to concentrate on giving City an end-of-season push towards glory in the UEFA Cup, where they tackle Hamburg in Thursday’s quarter-final first-leg.

Having enjoyed a remarkable start to his Premier League career, Robinho has struggled since the turn of the year.

The former Real Madrid star has not found the net once in 2009.

Hughes does not entirely feel the barren spell is down to Robinho’s off-field problems.

However, he is now looking for an improvement from his record signing.

“We knew there was no substance to the allegations, and now it has been put to bed,” he said.

“But certainly those things can affect players.

“They are not nice, and it has not been easy for him. But it is out of the way.

“I actually think the fact he has not scored is more to do with the opposition recognising what a talent he is and trying to find ways of stopping him.

“There have been games when he has not scored but has still created chances for other people.”

Hughes certainly believes the criticism levelled at Robinho with increasing ferocity this season is unfair.

While recognising the striker’s price tag is bound to attract attention, the City boss feels Robinho has been no more culpable than anyone else for his side’s failure to record a Premier League away win since August.

“He gets a little bit too much criticism for his away performances,” said Hughes.

“I accept some of them have not been good, but he is not alone in that. He is high profile, and it is easy to pinpoint him.”


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