Accrington Stanley centre-back Mark Hughes has today signed an improved contract to remain at the club until at least 2020.

The club had already taken the option of keeping Hughes for another year, but this new contract ensures that Stanley will have the option come the end of the season to keep the centre-back for the 2020/21 season.

Hughes played the most minutes for the club in the league during the 2018/19 season, as he featured in every single league game and accumulated 4,124 minutes in the process.

The Liverpool-born defender joined the club permanently in January 2016, after previously having a brief loan spell at Stanley in 2013.

In the three-and-a-half-years since Hughes joined permanently, the centre-back has made 165 appearances for the club and has contributed with eight goals.

Hughes said: “I’ve probably played my best football here and I think the gaffer gets the best football out of me.

“Hopefully we can take last year as a learning curve and we can progress and push onto bigger and better things.

“I enjoy getting fit and I know that fitness is a massive part of the game now.

“As you get older you’ve got to look after yourself more and I feel as fit as I’ve ever felt.”

Manager John Coleman said: “Since he came to us he’s been great and he’s played a lot of games, he’s very durable.

“He’s one of the most intelligent footballers, or certainly one of the most intelligent defenders that I’ve ever worked with.

“The players appreciate his ability to start our attacks off, and also he’s a good defender who chips in with the odd important goal, so it was a no brainer for us.

“We know we get the games out of him and we wanted to extend his contract, so everyone’s happy.”