PRE-SEASON TRAINING | Hughes keen to put stamp on team over summer

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 25 Jun 2019

Bryan Hughes is looking forward to putting his own stamp on Wrexham AFC, having welcomed the players back to pre-season training.

The Wrexham players, including new signings JJ Hooper, Leighton McIntosh and Devonte Redmond, were back at Nine Acre ahead of the 2019/20 season.

And Hughes, who is still looking to add two or three players to the playing squad, says he will be taking a more modern approach to pre-season training.

“It’s going to be another tough slog, but it’s one we’re looking forward to – especially myself. It’s a chance for me to stamp my authority a little bit more on this team,” he said.

“Looking at the personnel I’ve brought in, I’ve gone for a bit more pace and power in the forward lines and some more creativity in midfield with Devonte coming in.

“There will be an element of running in there. They’ve had numerous weeks off [but] I’d like to think I’m a bit more modern with my style, a lot of it will be done with the balls and based around what we are trying to do in our formation and the style of play that I want.

“It will be tough for them, hopefully they will hit the ground running. One of the biggest things for me is that I want the whole squad fit and ready to go come August 1st; a couple of days before the first game.

“You don’t get any winners in the first two weeks of pre-season, it is about what you do at the end of the pre-season. It is about building and looking after them as well, because it is always hard.”

The first day of pre-season training also meant a return to the training ground for goalkeeping coach Michael Oakes and sports scientist Nick Barnett, who have rejoined the club.

With Hughes, assistant manager Brian Flynn and coach Carl Darlington already on the staff, the manager was pleased to welcome back the duo.

“I’ve said from day one I want to bring some sort of identity, some affinity with the club, and those two have it in abundance,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to working with them closely. We’ve already got Brian Flynn here, who knows the club, and Carl Darlington who knows the club really well.

“I’m trying to bring some identity, more so the fans know we’re bringing it and the management team know what the fans want.”

Hughes says he is looking forward to the pre-season schedule, which includes matches against a broad range of opponents.

And he hopes to build a more attacking system over the coming weeks, addressing a lack of goals scored in recent seasons.

“It is good to have stability where you build from the defence, and the clean sheets that we’ve had over the numerous years are testament to that,” he said.

“But I’ve played for this club and I know the fans and they want to see a good passing team, they want to see the energy levels which we do have, and also they want to see a bit of entertainment where we can get goals.

“So hopefully that big mix, we need to bring together now, the good work that we are doing defensively, we need to build on that going forward.

“I think we did at times last season, and there were certain spells in games where I thought we weren’t far off in terms of interplay and exchanges that we did, but it gives us a good chance to work on things like that in pre-season.

“Strikers win games, I’ve have brought McIntosh in and JJ Hooper and hopefully they will be the missing link.

“That is no disrespect to any of the strikers who are at the club, or anyone who has been at the club, but for whatever reason it hasn’t clicked in that department of the team.

“The likes of Leighton and JJ, they offer something different to what we have got, especially from last year, they have got pace and they have got power and they have got good goalscoring records.”

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