NEWPORT County defender Andrew Hughes is happy to play whatever role his boss asks of him, just as long as he gets to play.

Hughes, 20, who came through the Exiles academy, made his first start of the campaign in Satur-day’s 0-0 draw with Stockport County.

The youngster was named man of the match after excelling at the heart of the Newport defence and is hopeful of retaining a starting berth.

He might have a job on his hands with Ismail Yakubu fit and in the squad for tomorrow’s trip to Barrow, but Hughes is determined to be a good team man whatever happens.

“I haven’t played 90 minutes for about a month, obviously I haven’t been playing really much at all so it was great to get a full game under my belt,” he said.

“I only found out late in the day I was playing and I was proud of myself with the way I did and to be named man of the match.

“I have to listen to the manager and respect his decisions and his opinion on things, he is doing what is best for the team and I have to do the same, even if that means not starting.

“I just have to make sure that I am right so when I am called upon, I make the best of my opportunity and do a good job. We went six games unbeaten and I could hardly say to the gaffer why wasn’t he picking me, because you don’t really look to change a winning team.”

Hughes is looking more and more familiar in the heart of the defence even though he is primarily a left back, but he admits working day in and day out with ex-Football League campaigners Yakubu and Tony James is helping him too.

“I’ve learned a lot in training every day alongside Tony James and Ismail Yakubu, playing together and talking together, it’s a situation where you can’t go far wrong as a developing player,” he said.

“They are both really good talkers and I know that’s a part of my game I need to work on.”

Hughes is also relishing the switch to Rodney Parade.

“It’s a dramatic change, it feels more like a football club, even on the pitch, we hear the fans a lot more because they are closer to the pitch, it feels more serious, like we are moving in the direction we want,” he claimed.

The Exiles make the long trek to Barrow today having left this morning. They are stopping for a training session at Preston North End’s Deepdale before an over-night stay.

The Exiles have no new injury worries.