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Walsall hand a trial to Bryan Hughes

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Walsall have handed a trial to former Birmingham midfielder Bryan Hughes.

Walsall have handed a trial to former Birmingham midfielder Bryan Hughes.

The 34-year-old has been training with the Saddlers this week as he looks to earn a deal following his release from Hull.

Boss Chris Hutchings is eager to bolster his midfield, after Richard Taundry was ruled out for a month with a knee injury and Hughes has emerged as an option.

The manager said: "It's a two-way thing where he's giving it his best shot and we're having a look at him.

"We know where we need to improve and there are areas we're looking at. He's got vast experience, has played at the top and is a very, very good footballer.

"He can get forward and score a goal or two. He was released from Hull, he's been around a couple of clubs and he's looking to get back in.

"Whether we feel he's going to be up to what we need remains to be seen.

"He came in on Monday and trained with us but he's got a little bit of a tight hamstring, so we've got to be careful with that."

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Hutchings has been keen on the player for a long time and the Express & Star revealed in February the club failed in an attempt to sign him.

Hughes spent seven years at St Andrew's, making 291 appearances and playing with Saddlers' assistant manager Martin O'Connor, helping them reach the Premier League in 2002.

The Liverpool-born midfielder then joined Charlton in 2004, before moving to the KC Stadium three years later and was released in May.

Hughes will stay with the Saddlers until the end of next week, although Hutchings remained non-committal over the ex-Wrexham man's chances.

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He said: "We know what Bryan can do, whether he impresses or not remains to be seen.

"What he might be looking for, if we offered him something, might be chalk and cheese.

"He's just with us for a couple of weeks and we're looking at the situation."

The Saddlers go to Rochdale on Saturday aiming to arrest a slide which has seen them lose their last three games, with Ryan McGivern and Will Grigg available after international duty.

But Steve Jones and Taundry remain sidelined with respective ankle and knee troubles.

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