Premier League

Dunne admits axe fear

City captain accepts there could be changes in the summer

Dunne: Has warned team-mates

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Richard Dunne admits there could be a cull at Manchester City in the summer should the current crop fail to provide a rousing end to the season.

City boss Mark Hughes has had the threat of the axe hanging over him all season despite only taking over the Eastlands reins in the summer; such is the expectancy at the club since the Abu Dhabi takeover was completed.

But Dunne feels it should be the players, rather than manager, feeling the heat as with unprecedented coffers in the transfer kitty it is expected City will overhaul their squad again in the summer.

Eager to be part of what he believes will be exciting times at the club, captain Dunne has urged his team-mates to give their all between now and the campaign's close in the pursuit of European football for next season.

"People have tried to put Mark Hughes under pressure and to be fair he's taken it because he's our manager. But it's the players who should be worrying about their futures," he told the Daily Star Sunday.

"We have owners who seem prepared to spend a lot to get a winning side on the pitch.

"I think if you ask anyone in our dressing room they would tell you they want to be part of City's future.

"But if there isn't evidence that we're on the right track then players will be moved out and new ones brought in.

"That's the reality we are playing under. We're still in with a chance of the Uefa Cup semi-finals and with two home games against Fulham and West Brom coming up we can really push for the top seven.

"If we don't take these chances then maybe it will be the players who will pay the price at the end of the season."