ADAM BARTON insists that Wrexham’s promotion chasing players know they won’t be able to simply pass their way out of the National League.

Barton is one of eight new faces in the Reds squad with Bryan Hughes looking to play a more expansive brand of football than that of the last few years.

But the 28-year-old has moved to allay fears that Wrexham might not be prepared for the rough and tumble of the fifth-tier, with a core of last season’s squad still at The Racecourse.

“It’s obviously hard to get out of the league and the style we are trying to play won’t be the style many teams will want to play,” said Barton.

“First and foremost we have to deal with threats - probably direct football and a physical element, but that’s what you need to get out of the league. “You need that physical side and then the passing should take care of itself.”

And Barton expects visiting teams - including Barrow on Saturday - to sit deep and try to catch Wrexham on the counter.

But the versatile Barton is confident Wrexham possess the tools to unlock even the meanest of defences.

“I’ve been in teams where that’s happened a lot, so I’m used to that,” said Barton of the challenge of trying to break teams down.

“It’s very hard, but the main focus is defensively, because once we’ve got the ball in the opposition half the counter-attack is always there for the other team.

“We’ve nailed that down.

“It’s going to be hard to break teams down, but we are working on that every day. It’s a challenge for us.”

Pre-season training has been geared towards honing Wrexham’s attacking instincts, Hughes working hard to get his ideas across as he strives to improve on just 58 goals for last term.

“The way the manager has done it is different to what I’ve been used to,” said Barton.

“I’ve been used to running hard and doing more things without the ball, but this season I feel fitter by doing things with the ball.

“It’s amazing, looking on paper if you were to just run you’d think that would get you fitter, but at the end of the day we are playing football and working with the ball is perfect. I feel fitter than I usually do at this time.”

An enjoyable pre-season schedule, which included seven friendlies, has helped confirm that Barton was right in moving to The Racecourse from Dundee United.

“It’s very important for players to pick the right style for them in teams they are going to play for,” he said. “I knew straight away that box was ticked once the interest came in, so that was one less thing to worry about.

“The manager and Carl Darlington have showed that they want to play football and get out of the league.”

Barton, who spent the back end of last season on-loan at Connah’s Quay Nomads, is capable of playing the centre of defence or as a protective screen for the back line.

As to what position he prefers, Barton isn’t fussed, adding: “I don’t have a preference.

“I’ve played enough in both positions now. I understand both parts of the game and it’s very similar.”