Aaron Hughes midfield general!

Last updated : 30 December 2002 By Martyn Elliott

Having already been moved from left back to right back in the starting line up, Hughes was pushed forward to partner Jermaine Jenas in midfield after both Gary Speed and Kieron Dyer had departed through injury.

The Ulsterman certainly impressed the man he replaced, with Gary Speed commenting: "I cannot speak highly of Aaron Hughes. He played right-back, centre half and also in midfield. These are the kind of players you want in your team.

"If they are going to come into the team and do a fantastic job like that then we should have no worries over the next few weeks until all the injured players are fit again."

Hughes himself was typically modest: "It's never easy when you lose players like that but we reorganised and got a very good result. Spurs are a good side with some very good players.

"Jermaine Jenas kept me right. It was my job to protect the back four and I let JJ forage a bit up front.

"But it became a grind at the end. The pitch was bad enough to start with but when you're playing on it it keeps cutting up but to be fair both teams were playing decent football considering the surface."

Clarence Acuna and Jermaine Jenas are the likely starters in the centre of midfield against Liverpool, but with Nobby Solano also doubtful the chances of another midfield appearance for Hughes are growing.