Manager Mark Hughes has his eyes on the prize as Manchester City take on Brighton

Mark Hughes

Seeking silverware: City boss Hughes

Manchester City may be the richest club in the world but manager Mark Hughes insists the Carling Cup remains a major priority.  

Record signing Robinho has been excused tonight's trip to Brighton, however, most of City's big names will be involved at the Withdean Stadium as the Blues look to end their 32-year trophy drought.  

'We cannot run before we can walk,' said Hughes. 'We have to remember where we were even two weeks ago.  

'We are very mindful the expectations have been raised but before the start of the season we wanted to win something and we are at the early stages of a competition that in the past has allowed clubs other than the top four to get some silverware on the sideboard. That is in the back of our minds.'  

Any doubts over the ability of City's new-look squad to compete with the Premier League's big boys were well and truly erased by Sunday's incredible six-goal hammering of Portsmouth.  

Hughes even has another Brazilian to draft into his side as Glauber Berti may get a run out after impressing during a recent trial period.  

However, the Welshman is acutely aware City have suffered a few nasty shocks in the League Cup before and - with a third-round tie at home to Derby the prize for victory - Hughes is eager the Blues do not fluff their lines.  

'We are just at the beginning of a journey, so we do not want to get too carried away,' he said.  

'There is always a danger you can come a cropper but we cannot afford to waste the good work we did at the weekend.'  

Michael Johnson is also likely to be in Hughes' starting line-up after recovering from a groin problem; a welcome return to action for the England Under-21 star, who is a product of the academy new chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak is so keen to promote.  

Hughes had a positive first meeting with the man who has taken the helm at City following the Abu Dhabi-backed buy-out and is confident the fears expressed by Arsene Wenger about foreign owners using English clubs as their own personal toy will, in this case, prove unfounded.  

'Arsene made general points about owners, not just Manchester City's,' said Hughes.

'Nobody is quite sure where the future of some clubs lie. But I am very clear and comfortable with the situation here.  

'You can only judge people on what they tell you. "When you look them in the eye you have to trust they mean what they say. I have no reason to believe that will not be the case.'

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