HUGHES | Manager hails squad strength ahead of trip to Gateshead

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Fri 22 Feb 2019

Bryan Hughes admits heading into the weekend in top spot presents a new challenge for Wrexham, as they take on a third consecutive long away trip to take on in-form Gateshead.

The 2-0 win at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night – which made it three from three under Hughes – means the Dragons sit one point clear of second-placed Solihull Moors.

And Hughes hopes the current team spirit in the Wrexham camp will help the players build on recent performances – having taken maximum points from trips to Havant & Waterlooville and Boreham Wood.

But he also insisted Wrexham are under no illusions as to the magnitude of the task ahead of them on Saturday at Gateshead International Stadium, with the Heed themselves unbeaten in five.

“If you’re top of the league, you’re there to be caught,” Hughes admitted. “It’s a good position to be in but we’ll see what comes at the end of the season.

“At the moment, we’re playing well. We’ve got a really good team spirit and the lads are buying into everything that I’m trying to get into them, and we’ll see how far that takes us.

“Blue sky now, we want to come away at 5pm on Saturday having taken nine points from three away games. But we’re not fools.

“We know it’s going to be difficult. Gateshead, away, is always a difficult place to go and they’re right up there in the league.

“But we’ll go there full of confidence – these two away games on the spin that we’ve just taken six points from will give us that confidence.

“Now it’s about everything falling in the right place for us and hopefully we can get the performance and get the result.”

Ben Tollitt celebrates

Hughes was without captain Shaun Pearson for the trip to Boreham Wood due to a back injury sustained in the first half against Havant & Waterlooville.

With the quartet of Luke Summerfield, Bobby Grant, Kevin Roberts (all injured) and Stuart Beavon (ill) absent for both games too, the Dragons’ strength in depth has come to the fore.

Hughes hailed the performance of Kieran Kennedy – on his first Wrexham start – in place of Pearson in Hertfordshire, and admitted the squad strength is a big positive.

“Kieran’s come in and had big boots to fill in the captain’s, but our squad is strong. I’m very fortunate coming here with such a strong squad,” he said.

“At this stage of the season, it’s definitely key to have that strength in depth. We’ve picked up a few niggles like you always do – the longer the season goes on, the more intense it gets.

“We’ve got a few wounded from last Saturday. They got off the treatment table to play on Tuesday so we’ll be assessing them.

“We’ve got a few lads coming back but Saturday might be a bit soon so we’ll just see.”

Hughes was also keen to emphasise the players’ role in Wrexham’s upturn in form – winning the last four in a row, including all three of his matches in charge.

Playing down his own impact on performances, he said: “These players deserve all the credit. I’m just guiding them in the right direction.

“They are the ones putting the shift in, they are providing everything we are seeing now – goals, clean sheets.

“When I first got announced as manager, my emphasis was trying to build momentum. I didn’t want to change personnel too quickly, or formations. We’ve got a really good blend, right throughout the squad.”

arrow-45degchevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up cross facebook instagramletter linked-in logo-social-youtubemap-marker minusplay-solidplay plus quote-mark skype tripadvisor twitter whatsapp youtube