My nightmare season - Hughes

PUBLISHED: 11:53 23 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

City midfielder Andy Hughes has admitted this season has been “a nightmare” injury-wise as he tries to shrug off a slight hamstring strain ahead of Saturday's testing trip to Crystal Palace.

City midfielder Andy Hughes has admitted this season has been “a nightmare” injury-wise as he tries to shrug off a slight hamstring strain ahead of Saturday's testing trip to Crystal Palace.

It is just the latest bump, knock and niggle for the 27-year-old, who was busily posting one of his best displays in a City shirt in Saturday's 2-0 win over Derby County before he had to hobble off on the half hour mark.

Throw in the smashed cheek-bone and eye-socket that required five weeks out, a metal plate and a Phantom Of The Opera style mask to repair a nasty facial injury over New Year and it hasn't been an easy time of late for the whole-hearted Hughes.

And that's before anyone mentions the poisonous atmosphere that surrounded Carrow Road for last Tuesday night's 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

“It's down to us to create the atmosphere and the only way we can do that is if we get the right results on the pitch - it's all down to us and how we do it,” said Hughes, with proof of that pudding coming in the far better atmosphere that surrounded Saturday's much-improved efforts against the struggling Rams.

And nor was Hughes about to point fingers at the supporters for the individual abuse he received in the Seagulls' clash. Again his own, eye-catching efforts on Saturday - in particular setting up the move that led to Jonatan Johansson's opener - may have helped improve relations.

“It was nice to be out there on Saturday because I didn't play the best the previous game and I haven't been at the standard I've wanted to be this season,” said Hughes, whose combative qualities might come in distinctly handy against his Palace namesake Michael this weekend. Whether he makes it or not is the biggest injury worry facing City boss Nigel Worthington.

“The hamstring is still a little bit sore so I'll just have to wait and see how it settles down,” he told the club's Canaries World service.

“But I'm keeping my head up. It was disappointing because it seems this season I keep picking up little knocks. It's been my worst season for injuries and in that respect it's been a nightmare,” said Hughes, able to put his woes into perspective following events at Anfield this weekend. “But it could be far worse, especially when you look what happened to Alan Smith.”

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