Grant feels Hughes' substitution pain

PUBLISHED: 09:37 03 February 2007 | UPDATED: 10:03 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant has admitted he felt for Andy Hughes after bringing the versatile midfielder on as a sub against Wolves in midweek - and then hauling him off before the final whistle.

Peter Grant has admitted he felt for Andy Hughes after bringing the versatile midfielder on as a sub against Wolves in midweek - and then hauling him off before the final whistle.

Hughes cut a disconsolate figure as he trooped off after 77 minutes, having replaced the injured Jason Shackell for the second half.

However, Grant stuck by his decision to bring on teenage striker Chris Martin and move Darren Huckerby back to the left flank as City tried to claw back a one-goal deficit.

“I was really disappointed that we got into the situation with Andy the other night, but I felt we had to spread the game so we had two natural wide players on there,” he explained. “And that was the reason I needed to switch Andy.

“I hate doing that, it was nothing to do with the boy. The boy came on and did well, but I just needed the wide players on the pitch, I needed an extra striker on the pitch.

“Also, I knew there was a big period left in the game so I still had to be organised elsewhere.

“But it wasn't down to Andy's performance, it was just a case of needs must. He has been terrific for me, absolutely brilliant for me and probably that's why I was as angry as I was.

“With the amount of chances we missed a player has got to suffer and unfortunately it was Andy. That was not an easy decision at all, but one I felt was right and I felt and still feel that at this moment as I did in that game.

“Coming on as a sub and coming back off, no one would be happy with that, but that's football. When the game is going on I can't worry about individuals, I have to worry about the team.”

Grant has deployed Hughes in a number of roles, although rarely in his preferred central midfield position, and will be considered for the vacancies caused by injuries and suspension against Leeds tomorrow.

“Andy has played everywhere and very well for me so I have no problems with that,” said Grant. “You talk about the sort of character he has got, it's fantastic, his attitude for training and playing has never waned. He's the biggest pest, always in the manager's office.”

Grant has defensive worries ahead of the Leeds clash, but says Hughes would put his hand up foe the job.

“If you ask for a goalkeeper he'd put his hand up,” joked the City boss. “That's the way he is and it's fantastic to have that.

“It is a fantastic ability because it is not an easy thing to find in players. I always want players to play in their preferred position and that is not always the case for Andy. Where he prefers to play and where I think he should play may be two different things.

“He maybe thinks he is good at everything. He is desperate to be in the team and you can't have enough of that. He has a great enthusiasm for the game and that's why I was very disappointed for him the other evening - on top of the result.”

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