MARK HUGHES admits he is facing a major selection dilemma ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League encounter against Hull City.
The City boss, who will be bidding to lead his side to a third successive top-flight victory, remains without the suspended Jonathan Walters for the clash with the Tigers but is able to welcome both Charlie Adam and Stephen Ireland back into the fold.
Adam has completed a three-match suspension that was retrospectively handed to him following an incident during the 1-0 triumph over Arsenal, whilst Ireland was ineligible against his former side at Villa Park last weekend because of a contractual agreement.
Hughes must decide whether to thrust either of the pair back into the starting eleven on Saturday over the course of the next 24 hours, but says his decision to do just that has been made difficult given the impressive performances from his side in their absence.
"It's a difficult one for me given the options that are available, although that is a nice problem to face to be perfectly honest with you," the Welshman told Stoke City Player
on Friday morning.
"The two lads that we have mentioned, Charlie and Stephen, have trained really well over the past week or so, so they do come into my thinking, but the lads who have been in the side over the past week or two have performed exceptionally well.
"It's a good position to be in because we have a lot of players who are desperate to play and a lot of players who are performing to a very good standard on matchdays too."
Hughes did however confirm that on-loan Liverpool winger Oussama Assaidi is likely to miss out on a return to action this weekend, although defender Erik Pieters has shrugged off a knock that at one stage threatened his participation in tomorrow's fixture.
"I don’t think Ozzie (Oussama Assaidi) is going to be available on Saturday," the 50-year-old added.
"He has been training and is progressing but we just think that it may be too early to consider bring him back into contention.
"There were a few lads with one or two bumps and bruises earlier in the week with Erik being one of those, but he should be fine come kick-off tomorrow which is pleasing."