HUGHES | "There are places up for grabs"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 22 Jul 2019

Bryan Hughes has challenged his Wrexham players to stake their claim for a starting place as pre-season comes to a close.

The Dragons play their last pre-season friendly of the summer on Saturday, welcoming League Two Crewe to the Racecourse, before the Vanarama National League campaign kicks off a week later.

And Hughes says there are places up for grabs in his starting XI for the curtain-raiser against Barrow and the trips to Boreham Wood and Dover that follow.

“They certainly are all putting their hands up,” Hughes said. “The environment here is very positive and the performances help that – we’ve done well against higher opposition in our pre-season schedule, as well as teams that are below us.

“It’s all gearing up quite nicely. The players see are buying into everything and they see us as a squad more importantly. They are all going to get opportunities this season. People know how I work and they are buying into that.

“I’m happy with the squad so there are places up for grabs. Every single one of those players downstairs could certainly walk into the starting XI, there’s no bones about that.

“Every game going forward, I’ll pick a team that I think will be the best fit for that game – and the best formation.”

Hughes also stressed the importance of using the rest of pre-season to build not just for the Crewe friendly and for Barrow, but for the entire first week of the season.

While the manager played his cards close to his chest as to his thoughts for the start of the season, he did confirm he was happy with the game-time his players have had this summer.

“We want to try and put another good performance in, and try and have a look at a few things without giving too much away with regards what we’re going to do in that first week of the season,” Hughes said.

“It’s going to be our final game. We will look to work on the formation we’re going to adopt against Crewe this week in training and hopefully put it into practice on the day.

“We’re still gearing up nicely, everyone has got the minutes in the bank which was important in this last week especially. All the players in the squad are very close to where I wanted them to be.

“I’m going to look at it this week and, like I said, it’s about building not just for Barrow but for the week in general. It’s quite a tight turnaround with Boreham Wood and Dover to follow.

“Going forward, especially in the first few months, we’re going to need everyone. The schedule is quite hectic, the games come rather thick and fast and everyone’s going to get an opportunity.”

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