HUGHES | Manager delivers injury and transfer update

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 01 Jul 2019

Manager Bryan Hughes expects to have the majority of his first-team squad available by the time the team departs for Portugal.

The Dragons build towards their second pre-season friendly of the summer, against Fleetwood, this week ahead of the trip.

And Hughes confirmed only long-term injury worry Manny Smith is yet to return to training ahead of the new season.

“Manny is the major concern. The others are knocking on the door really,” Hughes said.

“Luke Summerfield, Jake Lawlor, Jason Oswell – they’ve been joining in training, part-training for most of the first week, and they’ll step that up this week.

“Hopefully a couple of them will play some part in Portugal and definitely by the time we come back against Telford.”

On Smith, Hughes explained the extent of the centre-back’s injury, with the popular defender still facing a long road to recovery.

“Manny’s had a bit of a rough ride over the last year,” Hughes explained. “He’s got an infection in his knee which has caused him so many problems.

“At the moment, he’s on really strong antibiotics and it’s going to be a long process because he’s lost so much muscle mass over the time as well.

“It’s been tough for him and if we get him back before Christmas that will be a bonus. When he does come back, he will be like a new signing really.”

Hughes also confirmed he is still looking to fill a couple of positions in the first-team squad ahead of the new season.

Jazzi Barnum-Bobb caught the eye in the friendly at Cefn Druids, while Dawid Szczepaniak played in goal in the second-half.

And the manager is keen to get players signed on a permanent basis wherever possible, as he continues to assess his options for the season.

“I’m still looking for a couple of specific positions, so there’s still a little bit of movement I can do,” he said.

“We’ve got Dawid, the Polish goalkeeper in, so potentially another goalkeeper as the third choice. It’s about building the right squad.

“I’ve got the majority of the squad contracted and that’s not to say I won’t dive into the loan market, as we have with Mark Harris.

“But I think it’s important to try and get people contracted, who are fully focussed on the job in hand and we determine what happens to them throughout the season then too.”

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