Phil Parkinson believes the players’ mentality will be crucial ahead of the new Vanarama National League campaign as Wrexham AFC begin the season at home to Eastleigh on Saturday.
The two sides shared the spoils at the Silverlake Stadium in a two-all draw, before a five-goal thriller at the Racecourse which culminated in a 97th-minute winning penalty by Paul Mullin.
This time around Parkinson has made six new signings to help bolster the squad, and he explained despite their quality, it’s the hard work that really counts.
He said: “One thing we’re stressing to the lads is the desire and commitment we need to show every single game.
“Quality is important and it’s a great feeling on the touchline when you’ve got footballers, but we’ve got to make sure we run harder than any team we play against.
“I remember my first ever talk to the players when I came in last summer was that to get promoted, you need a team that can do both sides of the game, and I believe this pre-season we’ve had good practice of that.
“You’ve got to get both sides right to be a good team and that’s what I’m expecting from us this season.”
Parkinson’s men were edged out in a barnstorming play-off clash against Grimsby Town at the end of last season.
Since then, additions from both the EFL and National League have arrived at the Racecourse to help the club go one better this time around.
Speaking on the new signings, he said: “It was important we freshened the group up, players left, we were light on numbers, and we replaced those players.
“We’ve got real competition and a better depth of quality.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the new players integrate with the rest of the squad and settle into the area.
“We set out to make the squad stronger, we did that; now it’s about playing well, representing the club every single game and in the manner our supporters deserve.”
Pre-season ended with two victories, three defeats, and one draw, with the fans returning to the Racecourse for the first time this season against Macclesfield.
Despite more losses than victories, Parkinson stated he’s happy with the performance levels across pre-season as we head into the new campaign.
“This summer has been good for us,” he added. “We’ve all had a decent break and we’re relatively pleased with pre-season.
“The trip to Spain was good and I feel like we’ve added to the squad well.
“In the Man United game, we didn’t have much possession and we had to work on our shape and in the Macclesfield game, we had the majority of the ball.
“It’s a long season ahead of us but I feel we’re well equipped to tackle the challenge in front of us.”