Wolverhampton-Manchester City Preview

Aug 20, 2009 - 4:50 PM ALEX CROOK STATS European Football Writer=

LONDON (SE) - Wolves manager Mick McCarthy returns to old club Manchester City on Saturday after warning Mark Hughes' big spenders they will find it difficult to gatecrash the top four.

City are aiming for a Champions League place this season after splashing out 100 million pounds on new players over the summer.McCarthy, who spent three years as a City player in the 1980s, said: "That's not my old club ??? only the name is the same. What they've done is unbelievable.

"They have changed the landscape. There's almost not a market value for players ??? whatever someone wants them to pay for someone, they go and pay it.

"It's having an affect all around. What they've done seems to be hiking the prices elsewhere. But I don't think it will be the most open league as regards the top four ??? it will be the same again."

City boss Hughes' biggest problem this season could be keeping his large squad happy when they are not playing.

Hughes left new signing Carlos Tevez on the substitutes' bench for last weekend's 2-0 win at Blackburn.

Midfielder Stephen Ireland has warned there can be no room for sulking or disruptive influences in the dressing room if City are to be successful.

Ireland said: "It's going to be difficult for players at times this season. Some will get upset when they're left out.

"They will think they should be playing but people on the bench can either work hard and try to get back in with their football or they can sulk. It's up to them, isn't it?????

"Some people tend to say that they can't do any more to impress the manager. Well they can.

"Some players may not get in to the team until January but then maybe they'll stay in from then on and be a big influence on the season.

"Look at Nedum Onuoha last season. That's what he did. But I think I know how these players will respond.

"The manager will pick the best team for each game and there will be changes, we know that.

"We have to deal with those decisions like adults and work harder to prove that he was wrong."

Tevez is again likely to start on the bench as he looks to build up his fitness after sitting out most of pre-season with a knee injury.

The Argentinian started Wednesday's 1-0 win over Barcelona in the Nou Camp in the prestigious Joan Gamper Trophy.

Boss Hughes, who nabbed Tevez from under the noses of City's arch rivals Manchester United, said: "Carlos will figure highly this season.

"It's about getting him up to speed - he is not quite ready for a full game yet, but each game that ticks by, he will play a bigger part."

City are hopeful Emmanuel Adebayor and Wayne Bridge will be fit after sitting out the trip to Spain with minor knocks.

Wolves will be without last season's top-scorer Sylvain Ebanks-Blake with a hamstring injury so Andy Keogh continues as the lone striker.






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