Wrexham's new signing Devonte Redmond.

Wrexham Face Portuguese Test On The Algarve

Wrexham take on top-flight Portuguese club Portimonense SC on the Algarve this evening (7pm).

The pre-season fixture is at Estádio Municipal de Portimão and Dragons’ defender James Jennings says: “They beat Benfica last season so it is going to be a difficult game.

“But it is always good to test yourself.”

This is the third successive season Wrexham have prepared for a National League season in Portugal and Jennings has been on all the trips.

“These games are good experiences,” says Jennings. “Two years ago, when we played Louletano the first time we came here, it was a good experience playing against foreign opposition. It felt like a European tie.

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“We have done some work to make sure that we know how to set-up and that we are not chasing the ball for 90 minutes.

“You have got to sit in and wait for little triggers to go and win the ball back, make sure that we hunt in little packs of twos and threes.

“The gaffer (manager Bryan Hughes) likes us playing with freedom and wants us to penetrate when we have possession and work in different partnerships around the pitch,

“They are key fundamentals he wants us to work on and we showed that in the first two games against Druids and Fleetwood.

“It is a good time to come away for a good bit of team bonding, get to know a little bit more about the new lads.

“We had a tough pool session and I am not the best swimmer so I found that quite difficult.”

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Wrexham players and staff arrived in Portugal on Sunday and this is their lone fixture during the trip. They are staying at a hotel in Vilamoura.

Mike Fondop, Matty Sargent, Jack Thorn and injured Manny Smith did not travel to Portugal with the squad, but Rob Lainton, Jake Lawlor and Jason Oswell are with the group.

Lawlor has had a shoulder injury and Oswell suffered a groin strain, both both are likely to play some part against Portimonense.

An ankle injury is likely to keep Lainton out of action again tonight but Lawlor (shoulder) and Oswell (groin) could play some part.

“Several players will complete 90 minutes,” confirmed Hughes, who has summer signings Leighton McIntosh, Devonte Redmond, JJ Hooper, Mark Harris and Adam Barton in his squad.

“We are into our third week of pre-season and we have done two weeks of intense training,” says Hughes. 

Wrexham training session.

Hundreds of Wrexham fans are in Portugal and have watched a training session with the manager saying: “There are plenty of fans who have come over to support us and it was great to see them at the training session.

“To find ourselves in a different country and have the fans there on the sidelines watching the training session is just unbelievable.”

Portimonense have a big Brazilian influence in their squad and are likely to have possession for long spells.

“It may be one of those games where we don’t get a lot of touches, but I am hoping that when we do have possession we show what we are capable of and what we are trying to do this year.”

This is a third pre-season fixture for Wrexham, having beaten Cefn Druids 4-0 and suffered a 1-0 defeat at Fleetwood Town.

Wrexham FC pre-season fixtures

June

Saturday 29 v Cefn Druids 0, Wrexham 4 (away at the Rock)

July

Friday 5 Fleetwood Town 1, Wrexham 0

Wednesday 9 v Portimonense SC v Wrexham (Estádio Municipal de Portimão, Portugal, 7pm)

Saturday 13 v AFC Telford United (New Bucks Head, 3pm)

Wednesday 17 v Stoke City (home, the Racecourse, 7pm)

Saturday 20 v Curzon Ashton (Tameside Stadium, 3pm)

Saturday 27 v Crewe Alexandra (home at the Racecourse, 3pm).

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