Dragons Board Backs Under-Fire Manager Hughes

Wrexham goalscorer Bobby Grant.

Dragons Board Backs Under-Fire Manager Hughes

Pressure is building on Wrexham manager Bryan Hughes after a run of six National League matches without a win, but club directors insist: “He has our full backing.”

The Dragons have drawn four of those fixtures, including a 1-1 result against Sutton United at the Racecourse, and are 13 points behind leaders Woking. Bottom club. Ebbsfleet United are only four points behind Wrexham.

A statement by club directors says: “We acknowledge that the club’s current league position falls below expectations.

“The board understands the frustration of fellow supporters which was evident at our last home game, as do the players and management team who share the disappointment of our start to this campaign.

“The directors have held regular talks with Bryan to look to get our season back on track and everyone’s top priority is to quickly improve upon recent results.

“Bryan Hughes has the full backing of the players, club staff, the WST and football club boards to turn around our current situation and translate early expectations into a position whereby the club can challenge at the right end of the league table.

“Wrexham AFC recognise how fantastic our supporters have been and always will be. The players, staff and Bryan appreciate your support immensely and urge everyone to get behind the team in the coming matches more than ever, knowing that behind the scenes everything possible is being done to rectify our current situation.”

Manager Hughes was brutally honest, saying: “We didn’t do enough to win the game especially in the first half.

“It was a lethargic performance. I want us to be more proactive and take games to teams.

“I feel every kick and every ball with the fans. We haven’t won in six games and it’s frustrating.

“We need individuals in the team who can take the criticism and move us forward.

“Maybe in the long-term we need to look at the formation and the personnel, to find that winning formula.

“We haven’t shown consistency in games where we can play. I want to see us play a lot better, with a lot more intensity and consistency.

“That’s one of our downfalls, we haven’t been consistent enough. We’re giving away silly goals and overall we didn’t do enough to win it”

“I know exactly where we are in the table and it’s not good reading, I’d be in the wrong job if I wasn’t concerned. From my perspective now it’s about finding that winning formula.”

Wrexham are preparing for a run of three matches in eight days, travelling to play Aldershot on Saturday, going to Fylde the following Tuesday and returning home for the visit of struggling Ebbsfleet on Saturday, September 28.

Wrexham striker Bobby Grant, a Scouser who has made more than 400 first team appearances during a 13 year playing career, says the players have let Hughes down.

The manager is being openly criticised by supporters and Grant says: “The gaffer told us his feelings. It is not good enough and I fully agree with him,” said Grant, who is top scorer on four goals.

“We have to stand up out there and win the battles physically, mentally, all over the pitch.

“We earned a 1-1 draw against Sutton, but that is not good enough. No disrespect to Sutton, but we should be beating them at home.

“Only the players can turn it around. You can blame the manager, but it is the players and we need to turn this form around.

“We will continue to do everything properly and we will get the break sooner rather than later – we have to.

“As a group of players, we need to go on that pitch believing we are good enough to beat the teams in this league.

“The fans have every right to criticise the players and say what they are saying.

“We are the only ones who can turn it around. Nobody else is at fault.

“Fans pay their money to come and watch, you have to give them something to sing about.

“There is no point in me creating excuse after excuse, it gets you nowhere.

“You have to front it, go out there and perform. If you don’t perform, you will go under.

“Wrexham is a massive football club, the fans expect you to win games, especially at home, and I am no different. I expect to be winning football matches.

“Myself, the group of players, we need to take a good look at ourselves and put it right.”

Wrexham players were booed off after the draw against Sutton. 

Harry Beautyman fired Sutton ahead just after the hour, while late Wrexham pressure resulted in a penalty and a red card.

Captain Shaun Pearson’s header was stopped on the line by the hand of Craig Eastmond 86 minutes and the Sutton man was sent off. Grant scored from the spot, firing to the keeper’s left.

Wrexham: (4-2-3-1): Dibble, Jennings, Pearson (capt), Chambers, Carrington, Summerfield (Rutherford 80), Young, Wright (Redmond 58), Tollitt (Oswell 58), Harris, Grant. Subs not used: Szczepaniak (gk), Rutherford, Barton

Sutton United: (4-5-1): Butler, Barden, Goodliffe (Matsuzaka 90+5), Collins (capt), Bolarinwa, Davis (Wyatt 76), Beautyman, Eastmond, Ajiboye, Milsom, Jarvis (Bugiel 87). Subs not used: Dudzinski (gk), Bugiel, Wright

Referee: Simon Mather

Attendance: 3824 (away 48)

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