BRYAN HUGHES has afforded himself the luxury of considering the fact that he might be the man to finally end Wrexham's Football League exile.

At this moment in time, the Reds boss is focused on Saturday's opening National League fixture with Barrow at The Racecourse, and his attentions will quickly turn to Tuesday's trip to Boreham Wood when the full-time whistle goes.

But as Wrexham prepare for a 12th season in the National League, Hughes has thought about becoming the manager that leads the Reds to promotion.

"I've obviously thought about it, being an ex-player with an affiliation with the club and knowing how much heartache has been around over the years," he revealed. "It would be fantastic for me personally, but it's not about me and I've said that from day one.

"It's about the players, fans and the club in general - I'm just here to try and orchestrate things and get the fans behind us, create that unified approach that I've spoken about since day one."

This time 12 months ago Hughes wouldn't have envisaged leading Wrexham out in front of a bumper crowd at The Racecourse for the first game of the 2019/20 National League campaign.

Even six months ago Hughes was working for i2i Soccer Academy in York, before becoming the man tasked with trying to finish off the work started by Sam Ricketts last summer.

"It's great. I'm absolutely delighted," said Hughes of entering his first full season as a manager in charge of Wrexham.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind when I first got here last year, but we did well, finished the season strongly and got in the play-offs, but we faltered at the last hurdle.

"This season is a new season and the vibe, as I've mentioned on numerous occasions, has been very positive.

"The recruitment has lifted standards and lifted the players, it's given them a different mindset due to different personnel coming into the building.

"I want people to get better and I want people to improve, and we certainly are - both individually and collectively.

"It's about taking that into games now. Pre-season can be a bit false at times. Even though you are working towards a structure and a pattern of play, it can be a bit misleading because at the end of the game there is nothing to play for in a sense.

"Come 3pm on a Saturday there is all to play for, three points are at stake, and hopefully our players will be ready for it."

Hughes knows what Wrexham Football Club is about, and exactly what it means to the community and the loyal army of supporters having risen through the ranks.

Having graduated from the youth team, Hughes stamped his mark on the first XI, attracting the interest of Birmingham City, who signed him after being impressed by the midfielder's performances in the 1996/97 FA Cup.

Hughes scored against Colwyn Bay, Scunthorpe, West Ham and Birmingham before Wrexham bowed out of the competition to Chesterfield, who went on to lose to Middlesbrough in the semi-finals.

And having played around 100 times for Wrexham, Hughes knows what the fans expect, urging a united front throughout what will be a rollercoaster ride of a National League season.

"We've all got a part to play this year, staff, players, fans - it's not just about that starting XI that's put out on that first game against Barrow," he said.

"There will be ups and downs, there always are, whether you are in the Premier League or National League, it doesn't matter.

"It's about getting those downs out of your system quickly and getting back on the front foot.

"Hopefully we will have that performance value the fans want to see and that turns into results.

"As long as we are at the top end of the table, that's all I want."

And Hughes hopes he has assembled a squad good enough to finally return Wrexham to the Football League.

Eight new signings, including Devonte Redmond and JJ Hooper, have arrived at The Racecourse this summer, and Hughes is confident in his reshaped squad of players.

"Quietly and confidently I think we've got a really good squad," said Hughes.

"The National League is so hard, other managers before me have found it hard to get out of - not just at this club, but other clubs as well.

"It is difficult and a lot of the games are decided by fine margins, which is something I witnessed last season - for and against."