"I am going to have lots of options but it is a good problem to have," he said.

"We have good players playing well and good players still to come back. Now it is down to me to make sure I pick the right options for the right opposition."

>>Mark Hughes.

Interesting that Hughes talks of rotating the squad as and when required - the 'horses for courses' approach - which given the depth and strength of the squad is a luxury he can now call on.

So far though, Hughes has shown anything but adopting this approach. One tactical switch - bringing in de Jong as a 'true' holding midfielder, and two real personnel changes - Bellamy replacing Robinho and Zabaleta in for Richards - the side has had a very consistent feel to it, even so far as not making even relatively minor changes for the Carling Cup games.

Whilst the bench this season has had a remarkably strong feel to it, with the likes of Kompany, Santa Cruz and Johnson (and hopefully Adebayor) all ready to now return, this will strengthen Hughes' hand even further, and we may now soon begin to see elements of the squad rotation that Hughes has talked about.