KEATES | "There are bridges I have to build, and I understand that, but first and foremost I have to address what happens on the pitch"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 07 Oct 2019

Dean Keates is refusing to look too far ahead after being reinstalled as Wrexham AFC manager.

The former Wrexham captain, who was first in charge between October 2016 and March 2018, was re-appointed as manager on Sunday and his first match in charge will be at home to Harrogate Town.

And he says priority number one is to stabilise the team on the pitch – starting with Tuesday night’s match at the Racecourse.

“It’s a great opportunity for myself to come back and very similarly to when I came in last time, we need to get the club back on the front foot and going forward,” he said.

“We’ve got to build on what’s in place now, fill the lads full of confidence, get the lads motivated and get them out on the pitch doing well for the football club.

“You look at the squad from the outside and there’s good players. When you’re down the bottom of the league, it’s a question of maybe confidence.

“It’s a great football club to be at, we’re in the wrong position and it needs addressing.

“We don’t need to start running before we can walk. We need to stabilise and address tomorrow first and foremost.

“All being well, we can get something tomorrow, put a building block in place and a platform to go forward from.”

Keates was joined at his first press conference as Wrexham manager by Dixie McNeil, now Club President, who was part of the process to appoint Keates.

McNeil said: “We had probably 20-plus people apply for the vacancy. We narrowed it down to five people, all of which were interviewed.

“We spoke about it, and the overall consensus was that we all thought it was best for Dean to come back to the football club.

“He did a good job when he was before and we hope he carries that on in the future.”

Keates, who confirmed Andy Davies has also re-joined the club as assistant manager, admits he is under no illusions as to some fans’ opinions of his initial departure from the club.

And Keates pledged to ‘rebuild bridges’ off the pitch now that he has returned to the Racecourse too.

“I know what the club’s about. A lot’s been said from when I left the club previously, but it’s in the past – it’s behind us and I can only going forward now,” he said.

“What has happened, has happened. The only thing I can say is if it wasn’t my hometown club, if it was somebody of similar stature, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

“I’ve got to effect things first and foremost on the football pitch. [But] there will be times, as I did when I was here previously, where I will be out with the supporters groups.

“There are bridges I have to build, and I understand that, but first and foremost I have to address what happens on the pitch.”

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