BARROW | Dover defeat a 'reality check'

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sun 06 Jan 2019

Graham Barrow admitted Wrexham lacked quality in the final third after falling to a 1-0 defeat at home to Dover Athletic.

In a game of few chances, Anthony Jeffrey struck an 87th-minute winner as Wrexham fell to their second consecutive defeat – and first at home under Barrow.

And the Wrexham boss says the match was a stark reminder of the Dragons’ need to strengthen up front – on the day the signing of striker Jason Oswell from Morecambe was confirmed.

“It was a little bit too untidy in the attacking third, particularly in the first half,” Barrow said.

“We had some really good situations over the 90 minutes that didn’t result in proper good chances as they should have done.

“We were misfiring at the top of the pitch. You are probably accepting at that stage it is going to be 0-0, and then you get that goal – it was a ferocious shot, unstoppable.

“It’s almost like a reality check. The euphoria of over a week ago, and two great victories, and then what has happened in the last two games.

“I can’t fault them in terms of effort but the stats that matter most – shots on target, getting behind teams [are lacking].

“It just smacks in the face that we need to do something up front – a lot of things were going past the six-yard box, probably more second-half than first-half. There was stuff going across goal and not enough up there.”

Barrow hopes the signing of former Newtown and Stockport front man Oswell will help in that department, but he admitted the club remain in the market for another striker too.

Loanee Rekeil Pyke is also due back as he steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury – which saw him return to parent club Huddersfield for treatment.

“When I’ve seen Jason Oswell play, most of his goals have been where the ball was second-half.

“He’s a good athlete, he holds the ball up well and runs the channels. But I still think in an ideal world we need something else as well.

“Rekeil Pyke comes back on Monday and it would be nice – like when we were searching for that elusive goal today – to be able to bring strong attacking players on.

“I don’t think anybody disagrees with that who’s watched it all season.”

Wrexham drop to third in the Vanarama National League after the defeat but remain four points behind leaders Leyton Orient with a game in hand – Tuesday’s trip to Bromley.

Barrow says the league table should serve as a suitable morale boost and called on his players to give a positive response to the loss.

“I knew they were in good form – we seem to have faced a few teams in good form lately – but we’ve just got to pick ourselves up,” Barrow said.

“The biggest pick-up I’ve just had was looking at the league table – if we win on Tuesday, we are bang in business.

“You can tell when a team is generally disappointed and you usually get a positive reaction. You see what Salford have just been through and they’ve come back with two fantastic results.”

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