BRYAN HUGHES has been appointed as the new manager of Wrexham on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The Racecourse club were looking for a third manager of the season following Graham Barrow's sudden decision to stand down on Tuesday night and have turned to Hughes, a former Reds midfielder.

Hughes played a starring role as Wrexham reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in the 1996-97 season, earning a big money move to Birmingham City.

The 42-year-old played in the Premier League for the Blues, Charlton Athletic and Hull City, and also counts Derby County, Burton Albion, Accrington Stanley, Grimsby Town and Icelandic side ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar among his former clubs.

He finished his playing career at non-league club Scarborough Athletic where he also had a spell as joint-boss before leaving in December 2015.

Since then, Hughes has coached at the i2i Football Academy.

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Pictures, above and below: Bryan Hughes in action for Accrington against Wrexham's reserves in November 2016

Hughes is now charged with ensuring Wrexham maintain their promotion challenge in the National League, and not be blown of course by another managerial change.

Barrow was only appointed Wrexham boss on December 18, penning a two-and-a-half year contract, following a spell in temporary charge after Sam Ricketts left to take over as manager of League One side Shrewsbury Town earlier in the month.

However, the 64-year-old, originally brought in as Ricketts' assistant last summer, decided to end his short reign as chief and leaves Wrexham fifth in the National League table, just four points behind leaders Leyton Orient, with 15 games remaining.

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Wrexham were also in a strong position last season when Dean Keates left to take up the managerial vacancy at hometown club Walsall in March but endured a disastrous run-in under Andy Davies and missed out on the play-offs.

On the appointment of Hughes, the Wrexham AFC board of directors commented: “Bryan is an excellent coach who has a strong affinity for the club.

"His appointment signals our intent to go back to the model which has seen us progress on the pitch and again become competitive in the League.

"Bryan will be completely focussed on building momentum in the final 15 games of the season as we look to achieve a successful end of the season.”