Mark Hughes: Big four losing grip

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has set his sights on a top four finish after claiming the power is beginning to shift in the Premier League.

Ambitious City slipped out of the Champions League qualifying places following their 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

But after starting the new campaign strongly, Hughes believes the likes of traditional powerhouses Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are looking more vulnerable this season.

Chelsea themselves lost at Wigan before the international break, while Manchester United have slipped up at newly-promoted Burnley.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have already been beaten four times in the Premier League during the opening two months of a below-par campaign.

"There are some good teams in the Premier League this year," said Hughes, whose expensively assembled side are now fifth just one points adrift of Arsenal.

"There is a focus on ourselves because we have the ambition to have a good season. But the fact there is a threat to the teams who have had those top four places is adding extra pressure.

"You just sense maybe that feeling of invincibility is no longer there. Other teams think they can take points off them."

He added:"There are two or three teams who quietly think they can get into the top four.

"They don't broadcast it so they keep themselves under the radar. We can't help but be one of the teams people think should be in the top four.

"We have to deal with that anyway. I just think this year has the potential to be as open as it has ever been because the top four teams will drop points.

"That has been evident at the beginning of the season and I think it will continue. It's good for the Premier League."

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Article title: Mark Hughes: Big four losing grip

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