KEATES | "You have to be winning your home games"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 14 Oct 2019

Dean Keates called on Wrexham to get back to winning ways in the league at the Racecourse, admitting the cornerstone of good form is getting three points from your home matches.

Chesterfield are the next visitors to North Wales, for Tuesday night’s Vanarama National League clash – which kicks off at 7.45pm, with the Spireites also struggling at the wrong end of the table.

The two teams are also set to meet again, in Chesterfield, in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round, but Keates insists Wrexham’s focus is squarely on Tuesday night’s fixture first.

“It has to be three points at home,” Keates said. “Sometimes if you end up drawing your away games it’s not too bad but you have to be winning your home games.

“As I said, we’re disappointed to have dropped points against Harrogate at home.

“We’re both in the same situation. We didn’t expect to be where we are and we both need to get it addressed and get up the league. But we can only think of ourselves, get ourselves right and get back up the league.

“We’ll deal with tomorrow night first and foremost and then we’ll get ourselves ready for Saturday. It’s two totally different games – just because they’re played back to back.

“Tomorrow night there will be the expectation of getting three points. We’ll get tomorrow night sorted first and then what happens at the weekend, happens at the weekend.”

With Wrexham in Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup action at the weekend, the Dragons’ boss has been able to look at two totally different starting XIs in his two matches back in charge.

And he hopes the win against St Mirren Colts last time out will help to build some momentum looking ahead to the rest of the season.

“It’s momentum – a win’s a win, it doesn’t matter what competition it is,” he said. “As I said, I wasn’t impressed with the first half at all but second half they upped it and it was a lot better – it’s something to build on.

“Ben Tollitt was probably the stand-out in the second-half but it was good to get players 90 minutes. It was Ben’s first 90 minutes of the season and Devonte was the same. It gets the minutes up and now, if they’re needed, we know they’re capable of the 90 minutes.

“It’s only going to be little tiny bits coming together [in terms of short-term progress].”

He is expecting Chesterfield to pose a more similar tactical challenge to that faced against Harrogate last week, however.

Keates added: “We were disappointed we didn’t see the game through against Harrogate. We didn’t put the game to bed when we had chances and then we got pushed back – and it will probably be the same against Chesterfield.

“Harrogate played a lot of long diagonal balls to Beck, and it’s something we’ll come up against playing Chesterfield, who have the same with Denton. It’s something we need to look at and something to learn from.”

Finally, the manager issued an update on Wrexham’s injury list ahead of the game. With Rob Lainton making his first appearance of the season at the weekend, the Dragons are getting back to full fitness.

“JJ Hooper is not far from full fitness,” Keates confirmed. “He’s expecting to join in full training this week so that’s good, and then Carra’s not far away either. He had a little niggle from the Woking game when he came off.

“Rob got the full 90 minutes at the weekend, so we’re not too far from being a full-fit squad. With a change of manager, the players always get a lift anyway, and with a full-fit squad everyone will be at it to get themselves in the starting XI.”

Wrexham’s match against Chesterfield takes place at the Racecourse on Tuesday October 15. Kick off is at 7.45pm. For ticket information, visit our match-day guide.

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