BRYAN HUGHES admits the lack of a prolific striker proved to be a stumbling block after seeing Wrexham's promotion challenge come to an end.

The Reds finished fourth in the National League with 84 points, securing a play-off spot for the first time in six years.

But Wrexham only netted 58 goals in 46 league games as Shaun Pearson, Akil Wright, Mike Fondop and Stuart Beavon all struck six times to share the leading scorer award.

Hughes, who became the third manager of the season in February after Sam Ricketts and Graham Barrow, saw his side draw a blank as the Reds lost 1-0 to Eastleigh in Thursday's play-off eliminator at The Racecourse.

Although Wrexham had an excellent defensive record, keeping a club-record equalling 26 clean sheets over the course of the campaign, Hughes admits the goal scoring department is an area that needs addressing as he plans for a 12th season in non-league.

"Since I have come in I have always been searching for the right formula in the forward department," said Hughes.

"If you look at units within the team, defensively we have been solid all season.

"Midfield we have scored goals and we have got around teams.

"With the strikers, we have had some good interplay, scored goals and been a threat at times but we haven't had a striker like some of the teams around us who have got double figures or 20 goals a season which sometimes you need.

"It would be helpful if we had someone like that in our ranks this season - we might have won the league."

Hughes added to his strike options by signing Anthony Spyrou on loan from Norwich City in March while predecessor Barrow brought in Jason Oswell and Cole Stockton during the January transfer window.

Oswell and Fondop are among the seven players under contract for next season, with Hughes due to announce his retained list this week, and adding more firepower to his squad will surely be top of the agenda.

"I am always on the look-out to improve the team to give them a better chance," said Hughes.

"I was on the lookout when I first got here but at that stage of the season, it is always hard to get someone who is going to score 20 goals a season.

"It is time to reflect on what has happened over the current campaign and start rebuilding."

Wrexham fell short in their quest to clinch a place back in the Football League but Hughes is optimistic the Reds can challenge once again in 2019-20.

"I am very confident," added Hughes. "Like I said from day one, I believe in this team.

"They have done great this season. Okay, we came unstuck against Eastleigh but not for lack of effort."