Talented Hughes ‘will come back stronger’ after Cobblers debut

Ryan Hughes clears the ball. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images
Ryan Hughes clears the ball. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images

Cobblers teenager Ryan Hughes ‘will come back stronger’ after he was given a testing debut by Cheltenham Town at the weekend, according to fellow defender Charlie Goode.

Called up to the first-team by manager Keith Curle, Hughes partnered Ash Taylor at the centre of Town’s defence at Whaddon Road after captain Aaron Pierre’s untimely call-up to intentional duty by Grenada.

When you make a mistake you’re not going to get any good out of jumping on someone’s back telling them they’ve done something wrong.

The 17-year-old was not the only one to find the going tough against Cheltenham duo Luke Varney and Tyrone Barnett, both of whom were on the score sheet in a 3-1 victory.

“I didn’t think he did himself any harm,” said Goode. “He came up against good players at this level. I’ve been there at that age and there’s a lot of physical players in this league.

“But I think he can go away with his head held high but we came here as a team and didn’t play our best and therefore we lost the game.

“When you make a mistake you’re not going to get any good out of jumping on someone’s back telling them they’ve done something wrong.

“The best thing to do is encourage them and make sure, the next time it happens, they do it right. I’ve been there as a player - you make mistakes but it’s part of the game.

“I’ve done it many times and I’ve done it this season but you have to come back from it stronger and I’m sure he will. It wasn’t just him, it was the whole team.”

The defeat to Cheltenham has left Town requiring a minor miracle to make the play-offs. Goode added: “You can never say never but we had our full focus on the game on Saturday.

“We’re not looking ahead at other games. It didn’t happen for us and the gap’s got a bit bigger but we want to finish as high as possible and if that’s in the top half or the top seven, then brilliant.”

Goode is still wearing a face mask after breaking his nose at Crewe earlier in the month, adding: “To be honest, as long as we stayed on the run, I was planning on keeping it on! I’m quite superstitious like that.

“It’s quite hard to play in to be honest but I’ll follow the doctor’s advice and see how it goes over the next few weeks. If I’m allowed to take it off, I’m sure I will!”