HUGHES | "They’ve worked hard and there was some good stuff on display"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 29 Jun 2019

Bryan Hughes was pleased with Wrexham’s attacking link-up play in their first pre-season friendly of the summer, as the Dragons ran out 4-0 winners at Cefn Druids.

With several new faces, young players and trialists on show, Wrexham struck three times in the first half before Akil Wright capped the win with a bullet header after the break.

In hot and humid conditions at The Rock, Hughes admitted conditions had made for a difficult run-out, but he was pleased to see the results of the first week back on the training pitch.

“It was a good performance,” he said. “It was strong. It’s about getting minutes in the bank. It’s the end of our first week, they’ve worked hard and there was some good stuff out there.

“I want the players to move the ball quickly and it was hard today – it was hot, and I thought the pitch was a bit sticky. But, overall, I’m very, very satisfied.

“There was some good interplay up there. We took our goals really well. It was pleasing to see players going beyond and not necessarily always coming to look for the ball short.

“In football, you can hurt teams going in behind with pace and power and we certainly showed that.”

Hughes selected two separate XIs for the game, with Shaun Pearson captaining the first-half team and Mark Carrington taking the armband after the break.

In addition to the first-team regulars, there was also a strong contingent of youth players – including first-year pros Matt Sargent and Jack Thorn.

And Hughes admitted the performances gave him confidence about the quality of players coming through the ranks at the club.

“The youth players were very good,” he said. “It’s always hard for them [but] I’m not afraid to play the young boys.

“Sarge was sitting in a very disciplined role there in that first half, in front of the back four, and he gave a good account of himself; Noah Daley, coming in on the right, too; all the youth boys have done well – look at Max [Cleworth] second-half at centre-back, he did really well, 16 years old and very good on the ball.

“The club have got some good talent coming through but the focus is obviously on our first team – it’s a big season for us and we want to hit the ground running, and they’ve done that.”

Reflecting on the first week back in training, after pledging to put his stamp on the side this summer, Hughes was left satisfied with the week’s work.

And he promised the intensity will remain high as the club gear up for the National League campaign ahead.

“It’s been great,” Hughes reflected. “We’ve worked hard, we’ve recovered well, we’ve worked hard again and we’ve come here and put a real shift in.

“Credit to Druids, they’ve given us a good fight and moved the ball quickly themselves. But I think our quality outshone them on the day and it was good to get the lads back into some position-specific stuff, rather than just on the training ground.

“It’s always a bit more real when you get to game time. There’s a lot of positives.”

Wrexham’s next pre-season friendly sees them take on Fleetwood Town at Poolfoot Farm. For the full pre-season schedule, follow this link.

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