Wrexham manager Bryan Hughes.

Bryan’s Dragons Focus On Home Attacking Style

Bryan Hughes and his Dragons are going on the attack in a bold bid to secure promotion back to the Football League.

Wrexham and leaders Leyton Orient have the best defensive record in Vanarama National League football, having conceded 22 goals in 31 matches, and now new manager Hughes’ team are going for goals.

They have scored a disappointing 37 league goals this season and are intent on pushing forward when Dagenham and Redbridge visit the Racecourse Stadium in North Wales on Saturday (3pm).

“It’s about finding the right formation to bring the best out of our players,” says Hughes. “Defensively we have a fantastic record – one of the best in the league. 

“Where we know we’re struggling is in the goals department.

“First and foremost it’s trying to ensure the front four or five are in the right areas of the pitch where they can play with freedom  and deliver.

“I want my players to express themselves and play with freedom.

“I don’t want them to feel any pressure, especially in that final third. I’m sure the fans will enjoy that.

“I want high intensity off the team going into Saturday’s match.

“We are keen to make the Racecourse a fortress, come out the blocks firing at every opportunity and a lot of my training schedule will be high intensity.

“The payers will know exactly the style of play I want to play come Saturday.”

Hughes started his playing career with Wrexham and was voted Young player of the season in 1995, scoring key goals in Dragons’ run to the FA Cup quarter-finals in 1997.

He is keen for Wrexham team to reflect the attacking philosophy and passion he believed during his own playing days which took him to the Premier League with Birmingham City, Charlton and Hull.

“I want my team to play with a work ethic and a passion,” says Hughes. “Fans are passionate, they care about the club and I want to show them the players do as well.”

Wrexham are fifth in the table, four points behind leaders Orient, and they entertain a Dagenham team lying 13th.

“The team are sitting healthy in the league,” said Hughes. “It is a privileged opportunity because when there is change as a manager it is usually when teams aren’t doing too well. 

Wrexham players celebrate during their 5-1 home win against Salford City. Pic: Salford City.

“I am fortunate that Wrexham are in a healthy position. It is all about building momentum and finding consistency in the group to keep building on that.

“It’s important to really reflect on how well we are doing. I don’t want to make too many changes.

“There is a long-term vision with regards to how I want to play, but the critical part of this season is the next 15 games. I want to make sure we make the most of all the work that has gone on beforehand, from Sam Ricketts and Graham Barrow.

“The last thing I want to do is give them a whole new philosophy or game model with 15 games to play. I’m not stupid enough to do that.

“It’s all about the here and now, earning promotion. If we can win the league, brilliant. If we have to do it through the play-offs, just as good.

“It’s massive to get back into the Football League. Wrexham have been out of the Football League way too long for my liking.

“It’s not an easy job as other managers have found, it is a competitive league, especially this season, but we’ll be doing out utmost as a coaching team and a playing team and I’m sure the fans will back us all the way. That’s going to be the key.”

The Daggers are managed by former Spurs, Crystal Palace and England player Peter Taylor, who is faced by an unusual problem.

“We have too many players,” says Taylor. “That’s because of the situation we were in earlier in the season.

“We had to sign a lot of young players to make sure we could put a team out, but now we’ve been added experience to the squad and have too many bodies.

“Slowly, but surely, we could do with losing one or two because that helps the changing room.”

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