Hughes upbeat about Oldham's League One prospects

Date published: 01 December 2017

Long serving Kenny Hughes believes Oldham will be good enough to make an impact on League One next season.

He thinks new signings will more than compensate for the players who have gone and he expects new-look Roughyeds to be challenging for a quick return to the Championship.

Having been at Oldham for seven years and having graduated from the reserves, hooker Hughes, 27, is well qualified to give an overview of the Roughyeds chances of getting out of the sport's third tier at the first attempt.

He said: "It is going to be tough but we have as much chance as anyone else and, like  we have got the advantage of having played and competed at Championship level last year.

"That is where we should be. With due respect to League One, I want to get back up as quickly as we can and I know the others think the same.

"Hopefully, we will go better this year than we did last time, and I say that because we learned a lot in adversity last season.

"We have lost a few good lads, but they have been replaced with good lads too and I feel there is absolutely no reason why we can't get back up.

"I am sure we will go well with 'Chewy' (David Hewitt) coming of age at scrum-half and with Paul Crook alongside him at stand-off.

"Adam Neal is working us hard in the gym. He felt that, man for man, we were a little bit on the light side last year so he is trying to bulk us up a little bit, not too much, so that we are a little bit stronger for the battles that lie ahead.

"With the ball we have changed the format slightly and, within that new structure, we have been concentrating on familiarising the new blokes with our moves and getting their timing right when hitting the line.

"On the new artificial pitch we have been able to do a lot more work with the ball than in previous years. There is no mud, for starters, and the surface will make for a much faster game.

"The lads we have brought in are all good players. They have settled in really well and, like the rest of us, they just want to start playing."