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Stephen Robinson wants Aaron Hughes to help spark Oldham

By Liam Blackburn

Oldham boss Stephen Robinson wants to instil the traits he saw in Northern Ireland at his new club and his quest will be helped if he can land 103-cap international Aaron Hughes.

Northern Irishman Robinson, 41, vacated his position as part of his country's coaching set-up and his role as Motherwell's No.2 at the weekend to take up his first managerial post at the SportsDirect.com Park.

He was a member of Michael O'Neill's coaching staff at Euro 2016, the nation's first major tournament for 30 years, and will now forge his own path in the third tier of English football, a level which 36-year-old free agent Hughes could yet be at next season.

It is understood that Robinson is attempting to lure the ex-Newcastle and Fulham defender after his contract with Melbourne City expired.

Having spent the bulk of his career in the top-flight, Hughes, who helped Northern Ireland reach the last 16 in France, may be reluctant to drop down to League One and it is believed he has offers both in the UK and abroad.

However, after an unhappy one-year stint Down Under, his familiarity with Robinson could yet persuade him to link up with the former Northern Ireland coach in his first managerial gig.

"There's a couple of Northern Ireland internationals I'm currently speaking to," Robinson said. "I've spoken to one in particular. At this moment in time, he's not going to commit. It's something we're still working on. It would be a massive signing for Oldham."

With or without Hughes, Robinson is keen for his new team to inherit the same characteristics of O'Neill's side.

"Anyone who watched the Euros saw the Northern Ireland fans and the work-rate and effort that the players put in and that's the minimum you can demand of a footballer," he said. "People sitting here would give their right arm to be out on the pitch so you give everything you have, you work hard and that's the basis for every bit of success we've had with Northern Ireland."

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