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Wed 31 Dec 2008 01:25 AM

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Threat of axe affecting Man City: Robinho

Abu Dhabi owners set to give coach Mark Hughes big money to spend on transfers.

Manchester City's Brazilian star Robinho says the threat of being dropped is a factor behind the club's patchy English Premiership form.

With the Dubai-based consortium behind the blue half of Manchester set to give coach Mark Hughes big money to spend when the transfer window opens on Thursday, Robinho says several players are beginning to wonder if their days are numbered.

Robinho, signed from Real Madrid under the noses of Chelsea last summer, for 32.5 million pounds ($46.9 million), says those concerns have dragged down the performance of the team.

"It is incredible that with this squad we have appeared to be fighting relegation," Robinho said in Tuesday's Daily Mail.

"I must admit I don't really understand it and it has been the one question talked about more than any other in our dressing room.

"One theory I have is that the constant rumours about possible reinforcements in January have damaged us in some way

"Some of my team-mates do perhaps fear for their future and that is not positive, I guess. But there is nothing we can do about that apart from try not to let it affect us."

Robinho's last-gasp goal secured a draw with Blackburn on Sunday to keep City just out of the relegation zone.

But he insisted that "if we show the pride that we did in the last game then we will be okay."

His 12 goals this season have at least ensured he personally has no reason to fear the chop - though he says he also must improve.

"I have to say that still I am not really happy with my performances. People have not seen the big Robinho yet. They have not seen the real Robinho."

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