IAN Hughes may have his last chance to fight for a contract at Accrington Stanley tonight.

The former Blackpool captain has been on trial with the Reds for three weeks and has been involved in all of their pre-season friendlies so far.

Preston North End are the visitors to the Interlink Express Stadium tonight, and Hughes revealed he is expecting to have talks with Stanley manager John Coleman and chairman Eric Whalley after the game (kick-off 7.45pm).

And the 29-year-old revealed he would be keen to stay and help Stanley's promotion push this season.

"They are a good set of lads and it's obvious they want to do things properly. That's what has impressed me the most," said former Huddersfield star Hughes.

"The training's been hard, but that's expected if you want to play League football. You've got to work hard."

He added: "I'd really like to stay and the manager said he was going to speak to the chairman then speak to me after the game.

"It's been difficult because I've not seen the manager every day while I've been here, but he will have been getting reports from Jimmy (Bell) and Paul (Cook)."

With Coleman already admitting that he requires a central defender, as well as a goalkeeper, before the start of the season, the signs look favourable for Ramsbottom-based Hughes.

But he said: "We'll just have to see what happens."

Meanwhile, Preston's team selection has been thrown into turmoil with injuries having already blighted their pre-season so far.

Scottish international right back Graham Alexander (calf), new signing Callum Davidson (calf), captain Chris Lucketti (head), defender Tyrone Mears (broken leg), central defender Claude Davis (knee) and fellow Jamaican Ricardo Fuller (knee) are all sidelined.

Also, goalkeeper Jonathan Gould is unlikely to feature after handing in a transfer request earlier this week.

His replacement, former Burnley stopper Gavin Ward, arrived from Coventry on Monday and manager Craig Brown is keen to see him in competitive action.

Of North End's strikers, only Blackburn lad Joe O'Neill has yet to play in pre-season, while Brown is keen to give Richard Cresswell a good run before the new term starts after a season-long goal drought.