Hughes hails City support

Hughes proud of fans' reaction after Dunne scores against old club

Dunne: Reluctant to celebrate

Dunne: Reluctant to celebrate

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Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has praised the club's travelling fans after they applauded Richard Dunne's goal against his former club.

The Aston Villa defender headed his new club into a first-half lead before Craig Bellamy evened up the score midway through the second period at Villa Park.

Dunne, who beat former Villa captain Gareth Barry in the air for the goal, opted against celebrating his goal as a mark of respect for the club he spent nine years at.

In response, the travelling supporters applauded Dunne's gesture, showing mutual respect between player and fans, of which Hughes was proud.

He said: "The City fans were fantastic in terms of the reception that they gave to Richard.

"He was a fantastic player over many years for City during the good and the bad times.

"Our supporters recognised that fact and it was really special."

Hostile

In contrast, former Villa midfielder Barry received a hostile reception from the home crowd upon his first appearance at Villa Park since his £12million summer switch to Eastlands.

The reception was nothing more than Hughes expected but he insists his player was not knocked by the booing.

"The reaction was quite predictable," he said. "I'm sure people here appreciate what Gareth did for Villa but the minority made the louder noise. I don't think it affected him."

Welshman Craig Bellamy produced another eye-catching performance for City and Hughes has praised his compatriot's oozing confidence.

"He is playing out of his skin at the moment," Hughes said of Bellamy.

"It doesn't matter what position I use him in, he is still having a positive impact on the game and it was the same tonight.

"He is playing with great confidence. He always thinks he is the best player and most of the time he has been."