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North Queensland Fury's Hughes lauded by ex-Sydney skipper Rudan

Former Sydney FC championship winner Mark Rudan has lavished praise on North Queensland Fury defender Mark Hughes.

The former Walsall skipper has been the Fury's most consistent performer in his first season at the club and his performances have prompted Rudan to rate him in the top few centre-backs in the A-League.

"I think he's been one of the top five defenders in the league. For someone who has just come to our shore, I think he has really taken the league upon himself (and) been able to acclimatise to the tough conditions up there quite quickly," he told the Townsville Bulletin.

"For a young fella ... he plays like a guy who's 10 years older. His positioning is quite good, he's quite strong in the air and he's very sound on the floor as well.

"He's a real winner ... he's got a winning mentality and that's spreading through the rest of the players as well."

Although the Fury have conceded the second most goals in the league this term, Rudan said it was not because of Hughes.

"I don't think the goals against is a major factor," he added.

"Obviously defenders live and die by the goals they concede, as do goalkeepers, but it's not the individual sometimes - it's not just the back four - (it's) the whole team that pays the price because of three or four mistakes that happen when a goal is conceded.

"I don't think he's been at fault for too many of the goals they've conceded."

Hughes and the Fury will be looking to keep a clean sheet when they take on Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Wednesday in their Week 11 fixture.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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