Hughes delivers Dunne retort

City boss hits back at former skipper over exit

Hughes: Cook defence

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Mark Hughes has countered claims by departing defender Richard Dunne that he was forced out of Manchester City.

Dunne's nine-year spell with the Blues came to an end last week as he completed a £6million move to Aston Villa.

The former City skipper, who was named the club's player of the year four years running from 2005 to 2008, claimed that City's executive chairman Garry Cook had been trying to sell Dunne behind his back.

The 29-year-old added that although he told Cook he wanted to stay and fight for his place, Cook said the club needed to sell him to recoup some cash after splashing out around £120m this summer.

But Hughes has responded by saying that although City accepted a bid for the Republic of Ireland international, it was ultimately Dunne's choice to move to Villa Park.

"Richard obviously felt the need to discuss his thoughts on his departure from City, but the decision was his," said the City boss.

"He was the only one to sign on the piece of paper to change from being a City player to being a Villa player.

Unfair

"It was his decision and it was not as if he was forced out of the club. I have to say that it is a little bit unfair to highlight Garry Cook and his perceived role in the discussions."

Cook was head-hunted by City's former owner Thaksin Shinawatra from Nike, where he was a highly-respected senior marketing executive.

Birmingham-born Cook remained as City's executive chairman following the lucrative takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group but Dunne claims he "doesn't understand the core loyalty of the club".

The former Everton man felt Cook 'said one thing and then did another', but Hughes defended the City hierarchy and insists they have acted purely in the best interests of the club.

Teamwork

"I have had great support from Garry, and from (chairman) Khaldoon Al Mubarak as well," he said.

"We work as a team to make sure the club is strong and competitive in the future.

"Decisions will be made that affect players, and they may feel they have a view on things which they feel the need to express.

"But we are trying to make Manchester City a good club and one that is successful in the future."