Hughes has high hopes for fu­ture

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Bryan Hughes

FOR­MER Birm­ing­ham City star Bryan Hughes has backed Steve Cot­ter­ill’s ap­point­ment as man­ager and reck­ons he has been left a ‘good squad’ by Harry Red­knapp.

The pop­u­lar ex-mid­fielder urged the cur­rent play­ers to unite and show the qual­i­ties that brought them to the club in the first place.

Hughes said: “They need to get to­gether, re­group, work hard for each other.

“Whether that be, like my­self, a tech­ni­cal sort of player, or some­one who has got a bit of pas­sion and will die for the cause.

“They all bring some­thing to the ta­ble so they have got to get that for­mula that brings suc­cess.

“I think Steve Cot­ter­ill is a re­ally good ap­point­ment, he is very ex­pe­ri­enced, he’s knows the Cham­pi­onship re­ally well.

“So I am re­ally ex­cited to see what hap­pens over the next few weeks and months.

“He has in­her­ited a good squad that Harry Red­knapp has left him with and I am sure he will want to hit the ground run­ning.”

Hughes spent more than seven years at Blues and was a key player in the team who won pro­mo­tion in 2002.

Dur­ing that time he made 247 league ap­pear­ances for the club and scored 34 goals.

Mean­while, Lee Cars­ley be­lieves record sign­ing Jota will have a big im­pact on the club’s sea­son.

The as­sis­tant man­ager worked with Jota when they were at Brent­ford to­gether, when Cars­ley was his care­taker-boss at the start of the 2015/2016 cam­paign.

And with Jota on the come­back trail from the ham­string in­jury that has kept him out of the team for the last month, Cars­ley reck­ons his goal threat will be vi­tally im­por­tant to his new club.

“He will cre­ate a chance from noth­ing,” Cars­ley said. “I think he’s a player that will have a big part to play if we are going to have any kind of suc­cess or run of win­ning games this sea­son. I think the fans will en­joy watch­ing him be­cause he’s a good player.”

The Spa­niard joined Blues on trans­fer dead­line day for a fee in ex­cess of the £6mil­lion Blues paid Va­len­cia for Nikola Zigic in May 2010. He ar­rived hav­ing had an in­cred­i­ble end to last sea­son, which brought 12 goals and five as­sists in 19 Brent­ford starts.

Jota re­turned to Grif­fin Park last term hav­ing spent sev­eral months back in his home­land with Eibar.

Cars­ley reck­ons Jota was even bet­ter in his sec­ond spell in Eng­land and con­tin­ues to im­prove.

“I think he’s kicked on and he showed (that) in his sec­ond spell. He al­ways had a goal threat but his goal ra­tio and shots and chances cre­ated went up again,” he said. “I’d ex­pect that to im­prove again.”

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