Searching for reasons to explain the club’s dismal performance, Mark Hughes commented on the injury problem and the need for greater depth:
“You always have injuries during the course of the season because it’s a hard league and there’s a lot of demands on players. To lose the likes of Martin Petrov for such a significant time is a big blow for us because he would have given us a real attacking threat and a variation to what we’ve got.
“Obviously, Valeri Bojinov was doing well in pre-season and we were very hopeful that he was going to have a real impact this year, but he’s been unavailable. Michael Johnson as well has played very few games and he’s another quality player that’s been unavailable to us.
“We know that we would have won more games with those players available, but they haven’t been and we have to accept that they’re not available at this moment in time and the players that are available have to perform.
“It [the injuries] will have a detriment effect on you unless you have the depth in your squad that would allow their loss to be compensated for. That’s the point I’m trying to emphasise that maybe our strength in depth isn’t as strong as it needs to be so that’s what we’re looking to address.”