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Hughes aims to put it right

12 May 2016

Mark Hughes is backing Stanley to bounce back from their automatic promotion disappointment with a return to form for the play-offs.

The Reds are preparing to take on AFC Wimbledon in the first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final on Saturday.

That's after the last gasp blow of missing out on third spot to Bristol Rovers with a 0-0 draw against Stevenage at the weekend.

Now after a couple of days to recharge the batteries and reflect the defender is determined to put things right.

“I think we possibly needed a couple of days because it was a tough weekend but we put it to bed this morning and we have two really big games coming up and the chance to get to Wembley which is something that probably only Scott Brown has done before in this squad,” he said.

“Last week was last week. We had a chance and we never took it but we get another chance to put it right now with these two games, starting on Saturday.

“We've taken the hurt from last week, bottled it up and hopefully we never have that feeling again because it wasn't nice. We get another bite at the cherry which a lot of people don't and we'll stick together and try to take the chance."

The former Walsall, Bury and Stevenage centre back is one of the seasoned players in a youthful dressing room and believes the older pros can help the younger lads should they need it in the build up to the game at Kingsmeadow.

“This might be the week when the young lads need a bit of experience,” he explained. “Saturday was a dagger in the heart and it's been a long old week but now we just want the game to come. We had a meeting this morning and said it's just about expressing ourselves.

“The lads in the top half of the pitch have been unbelievable this season. If they express themselves and we defend well we know that nine times out of ten, if we keep a clean sheet, we will score. We've got matchwinners all around the park and we're at our best when we're attacking.

“There's experience in there in Anthony Barry, Andy Procter and Scotty Brown who have all been through lots. Anthony Barry said after the game on Saturday that there's no better way to go up than through the play-offs and that's true. We've still got a great chance to go up, a great chance to play at Wembley and we have to get the basics right.

“We hope that football can be the winner and we can take the chance that we've been given.”

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