Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hughes can still serve up a dish in the Championship

"Great Scot" as a certain Dr Emmett would say in back to the Future. We certainly have one in the shape of Richard Hughes. A restaurant owner, a Scottish hero and a darn good football player, Richard Hughes is one of our most experienced members of the squad but he is not quite ready to follow Big'un into the football retirement lounge just yet. While Richard is perhaps coming towards the end of his career, Eddie Howe still sees him as a valuable midfielder and at the end of last season he was very much in demand to help close out games when the result was far from certain.

Richard Hughes has mixed it with the best in his time.

Hughes' experience in the Championship is another reason that Eddie will be keen for him to play on as long as he can. It may be some time before Richard can get back to frying up meals in his restaurant. The Scot is well aware that Eddie does not do any special favours for former team mates but he does understand the value of his players. Hughes retains the ball so well and has a calmness to his game that several other of our midfielders could learn from. He has played with the likes of Paul Merson, Yakubu, Kanu and Kranjcar at Portsmouth. Pretty exalting company. Indeed, you could say he knows a thing or two.

Don't expect Hughes to lay back and let the others have the limelight either. He is well capable of breaking the net from distance a he showed with his rocket against Yeovil from a dead ball situation last September in Paul Groves only win I think.

I remember seeing Richard in front of Dean Court, before the Leyton Orient home game, when he was just coming back after injury. He kindly signed the programme for my boys and seemed genuinely pleased that we would ask him for his autograph when a few other players were about. But that's Hughes all over - a real gent!

Then again, he got booked in that Yeovil game when he scored! Not always such a gent then. And I expect he would like one of those midfield places in the AFCB team as badly as several of his team mates, so I don't expect him to be Mr Nice guy all the time.

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