Sam Ricketts is wary of in-form Maidstone United ahead of Wrexham’s trip to Kent at the weekend, despite the Stones’ lowly league position.
While the hosts go into the game in 18th place in the Vanarama National League, they progressed in the FA Cup at the weekend with a win at home to League Two Macclesfield.
It means Maidstone are on a run of one defeat in their last five games, and Ricketts knows there will be no let-up from the chasing pack at the top of the Vanarama National League if the league-leading Dragons drop points.
“They are on a decent run to be fair to them,” Ricketts said of Maidstone. “It was a really good win at Barnet and then obviously a good win against Macclesfield in the cup.
“They’ve got some dynamic players up top, who are fairly quick and pretty pacey especially on the break.
“They are a side on the up – they are not struggling going down the table, I see them as coming up the table.
“We were top earlier on in the season [as well as now] and we’ve never been a million miles away. It’s really tight with three or four teams right in and amongst it.
“We know to stay up there we have to keep winning games.”
The game comes on the back of Wrexham’s FA Cup first round victory at Weston-super-Mare and is a week before the crunch top-of-the-table clash with Leyton Orient and two weeks before the FA Cup second round tie against Newport County.
But Ricketts reiterated the importance of staying focused – though he does not believe the FA Cup is distracting to Wrexham’s league ambitions.
“Everyone keeps talking about the FA Cup as a distraction but for me it’s not, it’s just another game we want to win. It builds momentum,” he said.
“Our process didn’t change going into the FA Cup game and it doesn’t change now going back into the league.
“There’s no point getting distracted by the FA Cup. It’s a good thing, it means the club are doing well and the second-round draw against Newport is another tie that people are taking an interest in.
“But, ultimately, we’re all here to try and get out of this league. There are three massive league games coming up and the league is that tight that we’re averaging more than two points a game and we’re only one point clear at the top.
“It means we have no margin for error; we can’t switch off for a few games and pick it back up after the cup game. It doesn’t work like that. You have to use progress in the cup as a positive and put in another good performance against Maidstone.”