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Hughes: Failing to qualify for Europe no big deal for Man City

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes feels not qualifying for Europe could be an advantage if it means avoiding fixture congestion. The Citizens had a long European season this term, with their campaign beginning in the Faroes last July and ending in the quarter-final with Hamburg.

Hughes is of the opinion that the team's performances will improve with fewer games to play.

He told City's official website, Hughes said, "We would have loved to be back in Europe but that's not going to be the case, unfortunately.

"Looking further ahead, maybe it is a blessing, although it doesn't feel like that at the moment because we are all disappointed that we are not going to be involved.

"But maybe in certain games this year, we have travelled into Europe on Thursdays then come back to play a League game on Sunday and not performed. It's happened on occasion.

"So maybe going into more free weeks might help us next season. We certainly benefited from them in recent weeks after Hamburg, and that could well be the case for next year.

"It might even come to be seen as a blessing for our Premier League form - it just doesn't seem that way at the moment."

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