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B**ch of the Day

Mark Hughes has lashed out at cuddly old Match of the Day pundits Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson after they tore his Manchester City team’s defence apart live on national television at the weekend. Hansen singled out Wayne Bridge and Joleon Lescott for the worst of their stick, even going as far as saying that he felt sorry for the England defenders.

‘Down the left-hand side, you just couldn't believe what was going on,’ said Hansen. ‘When you talk defensively about organisation and communication problems, playing off one another and as a team, the marks out of 10 are minus six. From top-class players I just could not believe it. Schoolboy defending. For the third goal ... my God, what is going on here? I just feel sorry for him (Bridge). You tend to be critical but you just feel sorry for him.’

Hughes has decided to come out on the offensive, saying that the telly pundits are only out there looking to ‘nail’ individual players through selective editing, sort of like how Big Brother does it to wannabe glamour models from Essex.

‘The pundits on Match of the Day just have an opportunity to nail individuals in the public domain,’ the City manager said. ‘That process involves looking at incidents in games but not taking it as a whole. That's the role in life that they have decided to follow. There's a frustration, though, from our side when they don't go into particularly in-depth analysis. I'd question how many games they actually watch live, from the start to the conclusion of games.

Wayne is an experienced player who has won Premier League titles and been part of a Chelsea team at the top end. He understands what it's all about. At times individuals will make decisions that affect the team and sometimes you have to hold up your hand. But we're not going to do the same as the pundits because that's not what we're about. We look to analyse our mistakes and make sure, in future, we are better in similar situations. We won't single out individual players; that job is done by pundits.’

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