MANAGER PREVIEW | Ricketts Will Not Under-estimate Braintree Town Test

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Fri 07 Sep 2018

Sam Ricketts is expecting another tough game when Wrexham travel to Braintree Town on Saturday (September 8), despite the comparative league position of the two teams.

Tuesday’s goalless draw with fellow high-flyers FC Halifax Town leaves the Dragons in third place with 18 points from nine matches, while Braintree are bottom after a late defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge.

But Ricketts insists Wrexham will need to be on top form and take their chances in front of goal if they are to return from Essex with all three points.

“We need to be as prepared to go to Braintree and try to win the game as we were for a really organised FC Halifax Town side,” he said.

“We need to prepare the same way, the players mentality has to be that we need to go there and perform at a really good level to get the three points.

“I’m expecting a hard game – no game is easy. They are bottom of the table, they’ve got nothing to lose.

“We’re towards the top so they’ll play with freedom and we need to make sure we respect them but also impose ourselves on them and get the goals.”

On the topic of goals, the goalless draw with FC Halifax Town means top scorer Mike Fondop remains on five goals so far – despite clattering the crossbar early on.

But Ricketts hailed the all-round contribution of the big striker and admitted he has exceeded expectations so far.

“Mike’s game – and anyone’s game in football – is that they have to be effective whether they are scoring or not,” Ricketts said.

“They need to be helping the team, holding up, winning flick-ons, running the channels, setting others up. If you are scoring on top of that then brilliant.

“He obviously hasn’t scored for a few games but he’s still on five goals from nine games, which is a fantastic start. He’s a player who’s probably ahead of schedule from where I thought he was going to be.

“He’s a player with fantastic potential. I can see the improvement in the first nine games, from Dover to now.”

The trip to Braintree also ends a hectic start to the season, with this the tenth game played in the first five weeks.

And Ricketts admits he is looking forward to enjoying more time on the training pitch to build on the good start to the season, with a week between each of the next two games after Braintree.

“I’m looking forward to two weeks to work with the players and trying to work on a few things, and getting the goals we need to,” he said.

“It will just be nice to get some training time rather than just preparing for a game, recovering from a game, preparing for a game and so on.”

The match against Braintree Town will take place at Cressing Road on Saturday (September 8) and will kick-off at 3pm. Read our match-day guide for more information.

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