Graham Barrow wants his Wrexham players to get the Racecourse roaring with a bright start to the Boxing Day clash with Salford City.
The third-placed Dragons host the second-placed high-flyers from Greater Manchester in the first of two fixtures between the sides of the festive period, sandwiching a home match with another high-flying team, Solihull Moors.
Barrow admits the Boxing Day match at the Racecourse is one he has been looking forward to and hopes Wrexham’s luck will turn after not getting the result to match the performance away to Aldershot last time out.
“It’s a fixture that everybody looked at when the fixtures came out,” Barrow said. “To play them twice over Christmas will be hard, but it’s great – it’s a game we’ve been looking forward to and we’re where we want to be going into it.
“Of course, you’d always want to be top but, if somebody had said ‘this is where you’ll be [at Christmas]’, you’d have taken it.
“It’s the atmosphere [at the Racecourse] I’ve always wanted to be a part of. I keep saying it, but the supporters have been fantastic to me since I came here and I just want to give them something back.
“But we can’t be relying on the supporters to get us going. We need to come out the traps a bit quicker sometimes. The support has been really good when the team has started well, and started to play from the word go.
“The supporters have been brilliant and it’s one of those situations every footballer should thrive on – but it’s a big lift for the opposition as well.
“We’ve had some great performances in big games and probably not had our just rewards. We need to find that extra edge that turns it but the lads are in good spirits.”
Wrexham have won their last two home games – beating Eastleigh 2-0 and winning 3-0 in the FA Trophy against Boston United – but lost to league leaders Leyton Orient last month.
And Barrow wants the players to learn from that clash ahead of another battle with a promotion rival.
“I can remember clearly, the Orient game had stopped. They made a substitution and there was a corner against us, and we had done ever so well in those situations [and they scored].
“To lose that game after looking after one of the best strikers in the league and denying him so many efforts on goal, was a real killer.
“I can’t really fault the lads but we have to learn from it. When a game is as tight as that, every detail counts.”
Barrow has welcomed Ben Tollitt to the squad ahead of the fixture, after he signed a short-term loan deal to come in from Tranmere, but the manager confirmed the Dragons are returning to full strength.
After a number of injuries in recent weeks, the majority of the squad was at training on Christmas Eve, and Barrow wants no let-up in performance level in this busy period.
“We were getting really stretched and then lo and behold this morning, almost everyone has trained,” Barrow said. “If that turns for us, then even better.
“We’ve put in a lot of hard work to put ourselves in a position and we’ve now got to put our foot on the pedal and, to make sure we’re there going into the end of January, it has to be full steam ahead.”
For more information on tickets for the match on Boxing Day, which kicks off at 3pm, visit our match-day guide.