Hughes appeals to international bosses

October 18, 2008

Mark Hughes has called on international managers to show common sense when it comes to using players on their way back from injury.

The Manchester City boss is particularly incensed winger Martin Petrov faces a lengthy lay-off because of knee ligament damage.

Petrov suffered the setback during Bulgaria's draw against Georgia in midweek. He had also been called up by coach Plamen Markov for the previous match with Italy despite the fact he had only recently returned to the City side following a hamstring strain.

Former Wales boss Hughes said: "It is a difficult job being an international manager as they have only a certain number of games to make an impression and sometimes even to keep their jobs.

"So they have to have as many key personnel at their disposal as possible. But on occasions they need to be a bit more thoughtful, regarding the player and his future.

"If players are coming back from injury and they have only had maybe 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there in certain games, they would perhaps benefit from missing the first game and be fit and well for the next one.

"It is always difficult for managers at any level if they have players on international duty. You are not in control of their day-to-day training.

"Martin is going to see a couple more specialists over the weekend. But the view is, he has a significant injury and could be out for quite some time. He has ligament damage and the initial scans do not look good.''

Brazil striker Robinho caused a scare as well when he came off in draw against Colombia with a thigh problem.

However, Hughes has heard nothing since from the Brazil authorities - and believes the silence is good news ahead of the Premier League match against Newcastle on Monday .

Hughes said: "We have heard nothing from their medical department, so we are assuming he is fit and well.

"We have seen the incident where he had the injury and had to come off. It does not look like a significant injury, just a clash.''

City will be without defender Pablo Zabaleta at St James' Park as he begins a three-match suspension after being sent off in the defeat by Liverpool.

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