HUGHES | "It’s about giving the players confidence and belief to achieve something special"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Thu 02 May 2019

Bryan Hughes says Wrexham will be going into the Vanarama Eliminator tie at home with Eastleigh full of confidence after a strong finish to the league season.

Wrexham won four of their last five matches in the league season, including coming from behind to beat Harrogate at the Racecourse on the final day.

And Hughes wants the Dragons to take confidence from their excellent home form with a big crowd expected at the Racecourse for Thursday’s tie.

“Our home form’s been fantastic this season and we just need to produce again on Thursday night,” Hughes said.

“It has been a fantastic season, and that’s testament to these players. They’ve been fantastic; since I’ve come into the club, they’ve been great for me.

“We’re in a real good run of form at the moment – four wins in the last five games and it’s about now building that momentum.

“We’re going to have a big crowd here tomorrow night – the crowd will have a big part to play and I’ve said that from day one.”

Hughes admitted the nature of play-off games means form will only count for so much, however – though he has been keen to keep preparations as ‘normal’ as possible.

“We’ll prepare, we’ll plan, like any other game,” he added. “Eastleigh have their strengths, they’re a strong team and they’re in the play-offs for a reason.

“The biggest thing about play-offs from my experience is that it’s a bit of a lottery now. It’s like a cup competition.

“It’s going to be a tough game but we’re confident and we’re going to go into the game in confident fashion with our own form, and hopefully we can take the game to Eastleigh.

“I think from our point of view it’s another game. It’s another game here, which is important.

“It is a cup game, it’s a knock-out, but we’ll have a gameplan and we’ll know the strengths and weaknesses of Eastleigh.”

Hughes also admitted his delight at leading the club into the play-offs for the first time in six years – but promised he will not be resting on his laurels.

The former Wrexham midfielder replaced Graham Barrow as manager in February, and has won nine and drew one of his 15 league games in charge.

And he believes good form, while not the be all and end all ahead of the play-offs, is important for keeping confidence high in the Dragons camp.

“I’ve got an affiliation to the club that goes back years. It means the world to me to get to this position,” he said.

“The job’s not done yet though from my point of view. I want to try and take us all the way. That’s why I came to the club.

“We’ve given ourselves an opportunity and the first step has been achieved – we’ve got the play-offs, there’s been a progression as a club in terms of it being the first time in six years we’ve been in this position.

“Now it’s about taking it forward and giving the players the confidence and the belief to go and achieve something special.”

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