Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe has heaped praise on defender Andrew Hughes after his performance against Swansea City on Saturday.
PNE had to come from behind to beat the Swans having seen Harrison Ashby find the net in the first half.
North End changed shape around the hour mark with midfielder Ali McCann replacing left wing back Kian Best.
Lowe went to a back four and PNE started to pile pressure on the Swansea goal before Hughes buried a header from an Alan Browne cross.
Duane Holmes then bagged the winner, firing home after outstanding work down the left flank by Mads Frøkjær-Jensen.
That’s three wins from four to start the season for PNE with Lowe opening the campaign brilliantly.
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Hughes was vital to Saturday’s win and not only because he popped up with the crucial equaliser to bring North End back into the game.
The 31-year-old pulled off a vital block to deny what looked like a certain Swansea goal before half time, which would make the score 2-0.
Hughes made a big impact at both ends and showed his versatility by shifting from the left of Lowe’s back three to left back in a four.
Lowe was delighted with Hughes’ impact and heaped praise on the Welshman whilst speaking to iFollow after the full-time whistle.
Lowe branded Hughes ‘immense’ and ‘top quality’ as well as praising his input at the training ground day in and day out.
“He is immense, he’s a top quality player isn’t he?” said Lowe. “He does the right things, like all the players, but obviously, when he does what he does today, and plays the way he plays, and then scores a goal as well, he obviously shines a little bit, but what he does at the training ground on a daily basis, he’s a top, top pro and I’m really pleased that he’s got the goal,” he added.
Last season was a frustrating one for Hughes as niggling injuries meant he was never really able to gain momentum and play at his best.
Hughes is now into the final year of his contract and must prove his fitness over the course of the season in order to land a new deal.
If he can play as we know he can – and as he did on Saturday – then Hughes will leave PNE tempted to give him that new contract.