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17 January 2022

SAM Hughes was delighted to be named in the starting 11 in Burton Albion's 3-1 victory over Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium.

Hughes made his first start since returning from a long spell on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury suffered during his initial loan spell with the Brewers in 2020.

And the central defender played a key part in the Brewers' 3-1 victory in Kent on Saturday.

“I know I am ready in terms of where I am at physically," said Hughes.

"The past is the past now and I have put it behind me, so I am only trying to look forward.

"I was absolutely delighted to find out I was in the starting 11, so now hopefully long may it continue.”

Despite returning to the club under a different manager, Hughes says he has really noticed the difference from his first spell with us.

And following his return to action, which saw him play the full 90 minutes at the heart of our defence, Hughes was positive about the future for Burton Albion. 

"There are a lot of differences since I first came, manager, coaching staff and players, there is a difference," added Hughes.

"That’s also showing on the pitch.

“We are sitting in a decent position in the league and so long as we stick together and keep on getting results then we’ll keep working our way up, and who knows where that can take us?"

Playing in a back three with John Brayford and Deji Oshilaja on Saturday, Hughes thoroughly enjoyed playing alongside the two, with particular praise for skipper Brayford.

"Bray is different class," Hughes said of his captain.  

"His attitude and the way he leads the lads is unreal. He chips in with a few goals and it is an absolute pleasure to play alongside him.”

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