New Wrexham manager Bryan Hughes is relishing his first full week of training with the Dragons players, after starting his managerial reign with a win.
Having promised high intensity on the training pitch when he was unveiled as manager, Hughes has been pleased with the response from the players since taking over.
And he reiterated the need for the whole squad to be in top shape with two long away trips, to Havant & Waterlooville and Gateshead, next on the cards.
“The beauty of it for me is it gives me a full week to prepare the players,” Hughes said of the week ahead.
“We only had 48 hours before Dagenham, so it gives us a good chance to prepare and get ready for Havant.
“Away games are always difficult, especially in the National League. It’s a very competitive league
“We’ve just got to prepare well this week. It was a tough game Saturday, and it took a lot out of the players. I’ll make sure people are ready and right.”
On the squad players, he added: “It’s my job to keep them all happy. They’re all going to have some sort of impact.
“A few players have niggles and we don’t know how they’re going to go this week, so people have got to be ready.
“It’s my job to keep these guys happy to make sure when they are ready, they can come in and perform. That’s the biggest job as a manager when you’ve got such a big squad.
“They all want to play, and they are all capable of playing at this level and it’s about getting the right personnel for each game at the right time.”
Hughes admitted getting the workload right in training is another challenge facing himself and the coaching team this week too, however.
“We try to give the players freedom but working with high intensity,” he explained, “but it’s difficult because we’re not getting too much time on the grass at the moment with the weather.
“Players react differently so we’ve got to be careful how big a load we put into the players. I do want to get more high intensity work into the players, so they can show it more on a Saturday.”
Hughes has been pleased with the way the players have responded since he took the reins, however, particularly given the pressure on them during times of upheaval.
“They’ve been great to be honest,” he said. “I know myself, being an ex-player, it’s always difficult when there’s a change of management.
“People are looking over their shoulders, wondering if they’ll fit in with the style of play, and at this stage of the season it’s even more critical with players looking at contracts,” Hughes said.
“I know there will be a lot of things going on in players’ minds at this stage with the change of management but it’s so far, so good.
“They’ve been responsive to everything I asked of them. We didn’t lose any discipline against Dagenham.
“They’ve all been really good and it was good to see even those left on the bench on Saturday, how big an impact they made when they came on. It just shows what good team spirit we have here.”