29/11/2008 01:05, Report by Jamie Renton

Hughes: We're in great shape

Mark Hughes believes his Manchester City side are perfectly primed for Sunday’s derby against his former club.

The former Reds striker has his sights set on toppling the champions, following a week that saw convincing wins over Arsenal and Schalke 04. Speaking after the latter victory in Germany, Hughes said of his team:

"We're in great shape. It's been a great week, starting off against Arsenal, we've had a great performance here and it leads nicely into a certain game at the weekend!"

A tricky spell saw Hughes' men lose to Middlesbrough, Bolton and Spurs, but after putting three past the Gunners at the City of Manchester Stadium last Saturday and a 2-0 UEFA Cup win over Schalke on Thursday, things are looking up for the Blues.

Hughes said of Thursday’s game: “I thought we were really comfortable and knew when to break, so as a consequence Schalke were always on the back foot. It was a very accomplished performance."

Sunday's contest will be Hughes' first experience of a Manchester derby as a manager but his 14th derby in total. During his playing days at United, he netted four times in 13 appearances against the club he now helms.

Hughes' derby goals included United's consolation in City's 5-1 win in 1989, and one in the Reds' 5-0 drubbing of the Blues at Old Trafford in November 1994.


Premier League