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Stephen Ireland is the only individual to have responded to the Welshman's new, disciplinarian culture, with neither Richard Dunne nor Micah Richards worthy of a place in any Premier League starting line-up on current form. Darius Vassell is another inherited player who, according to some noises emerging from the club, is disenchanted.

A consistent theme across the press today, and in reality, is mainly a re-hash of The Independent piece that appeared on Saturday. Perhaps (and this is my guess only) the press corps have decided to return to the 'squad divided' angle with the lack of a big scoop in terms of a Hughes sacking - and his position does appear to be as safe as it could do at present.

Rightly or wrongly, Hughes is determined to change the make-up of the squad from that inherited from Eriksson and there are players who will fall by the wayside. I don't however subscribe to the view that the factions or splits are deep or widespread as reported. With Elano and Jo they clearly exist though, but exactly who else is in this faction?

Looking at the squad I don't see many candidates.

It is interesting that the piece linked above mentions Dunne, Vassell and Richards as players who are 'against' Hughes, yet I don't necessarily see that. All have been virtual ever presents under Hughes, with Dunne also retaining the captaincy handed to him by Eriksson whereas it is patently obvious as to who the players falling foul of Hughes are.

Perhaps Hamman, and as a senior player his voice may carry some weight within the dressing room yet you would say that he is fast becoming expendable as we move forward. But looking at the players who have featured most prominently this season is the problem really as bad as being portrayed?

The one thing that will quell the type of reports we have seen of late of course is wins, and the squad we do possess has enough quality within it, that, coupled with some strengthening (lets not forget that Hughes's signings have been succesful) can see the sort of consistency of performance achieved that could see a successful turn around to the season.