MANAGER PREVIEW | "Salford won't have to do a lot to fire their team up"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Mon 31 Dec 2018

Graham Barrow is expecting a big response from Salford City as the two sides go head to head again less than a week after Wrexham’s 5-1 win on Boxing Day.

The Dragons backed that win up by beating Solihull 1-0 in a physical test on Saturday, while Salford lost their fourth consecutive game after conceding a last-minute winner in a 3-2 loss at Barrow.

But Barrow has warned his players to expect an immediate reply from Salford, with the fourth-placed Ammies keen to get back to winning ways against second-placed Wrexham.

“Our confidence is not a problem,” he said. “[But] when you turn a team over, the only thing that concerns me is they won’t have to do a lot to fire their team up [to bounce back].

“They had a little go at us for ten minutes in the second-half on Boxing Day, and we saw that through, but I’d imagine they will come flying out of the traps this time.

“We’ll be ready for that, we’ve all been in the game long enough. They changed their system against Barrow, they are obviously looking for something, but we just have to be ourselves.”

One of Salford’s famous owners, Phil Neville – the current England Women’s manager – has said he will use print-outs of Wrexham fans’ reaction to the Boxing Day win to motivate the Ammies on New Year’s Day.

But Barrow expressed surprise that they would even need such intervention ahead of another big battle in the promotion race.

“Salford played OK the other day. We were just better and more clinical but they are still a dangerous side,” Barrow insisted.

“I’d be a bit disappointed if I was the manager and Phil Neville is doing that – let the manager do his job.

“I don’t think those names need to be getting involved in what Graham is doing but it’s up to them to look after their club.”

The coming of January also marks the start of the winter transfer window, and Barrow admits he is keen to strengthen the Wrexham squad ahead for the second-half of this season.

And he revealed he is also hopeful of tying down loanees Bobby Grant and Brad Walker, whose short-term deals expire soon.

The game at Salford is the last of Grant’s loan spell from Fleetwood and Barrow admitted he has been a big influence in the dressing room during his short stint at the Racecourse.

“We’ll try [to strengthen] – it’s not the easiest time but it will be nice to tie up what we’ve got at the moment,” Barrow said.

“That would really satisfy me, along with a couple of new faces, but they have to be the right players to come into this dressing room. It’s not just about ability, it’s about character as well.

“Things are moving, and hopefully moving in the right direction. [Grant and Walker] want to stay. We’re probably closer with Bobby at the moment but I’m really hopeful.

“Bobby’s loan finishes after the Salford game. He’s done a great job for us. He’s battling away and playing like he wants to be here.

“I think it will be good news for the dressing room if he stays. He has fitted in really well with the dressing room, as has Brad. Hopefully, within reason – and as long as it’s the right deal – we can get them.”

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