Coleman targets Hughes stay

Stanley boss praises veteran midfielder's attitude

Bryan Hughes: Has impressed at Accrington and is attracting interest from other clubs

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Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman is hoping to keep experienced midfielder Bryan Hughes at the club for as long as possible following reports of interest from elsewhere.

The 35-year-old has caught the eye since joining Stanley on a non-contract basis in October and his situation has alerted the likes of Aldershot and Rotherham in recent weeks.

Coleman was surprised the former Birmingham and Hull playmaker dropped into League Two and he believes Hughes is still capable of playing at a higher level.

"Bryan had been staying with us for a month or so before he signed on anyway and he is a good lad with a lot of respect for the other players," Coleman told skysports.com.

Thankful

"He has been prepared to roll his sleeves up and have a go and he is a very good professional at the end of the day.

"I am surprised that he has had to drop into League Two because he still has a lot of quality and he could certainly do a job at a higher level, but we are thankful that he is playing for us and has the appetite to do so at his age."

Stanley return to action this weekend fresh from a fortnight off following their first round exit in the FA Cup with a trip to AFC Wimbledon and Coleman is keen to see their luck change when it comes to major refereeing decisions.

He added: "We've had a lot of penalties given against us this season and quite a few sendings off, with a few of them unjustified.

"You can bemoan your luck when these things happen or try to do something about it by trying to play well and occupy your opponents' half and hopefully the luck will turn in your favour.

"We aren't going to moan about it, but there is no denying that it has affected us because the more players sent off means that suspensions start to build, which don't just affect one game but two or three."