Wrexham boss Sam Ricketts wants to keep his players grounded ahead of the top-of-the-table clash with Leyton Orient, with the league leaders travelling to face the third-placed Dragons at the Racecourse on Saturday.
Orient replaced Wrexham at the top of the Vanarama National League table last weekend but there is just one point between the two teams – with second-placed Salford also a point behind the leaders – ahead of Saturday’s game.
And while Ricketts admitted it will be an easy game to motivate the players for, he says the Dragons’ preparations will be no different to any other fixture.
“These are the games you don’t have to get yourself up for,” he said. “From the moment you wake up, you are ready to play in these big games – and this is certainly one of them.
“We’re 20-odd league games in so far and our form puts us in a position for this to be a big game [but] it’s not a cup final, it’s not win and we’re promoted or lose and we’re not.
“It’s just a chance to play a team who have accumulated a very similar number of points to us so far this season. We know how hard it’s been, so we fully respect them and know their qualities as a side.
“Ultimately, it is just another game. Just because we’re playing against the top of the table – and rightly so, they have started the season really well and are a really good side – we will approach the game the same as we do every other.”
Wrexham are unbeaten at home going into the match, whereas Orient have not lost away this season.
The Dragons are also defending an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions, which was extended by Brad Walker’s deflected equaliser at Maidstone last weekend.
And Ricketts called on his players to keep their standards high in order to keep the good run of form going.
“It’s two good sides,” he said ahead of the game. “When you play against another good side, the margin between winning and losing reduces – it could be a shot which hits the post or goes just inside, and they are the margins we are talking about.
“We want to keep the level of performance going. If we do that, it gives us the best chance of a result. We’ll be going over the same processes again.”
Ricketts also delivered an injury update ahead of the game, with only Doug Tharme ruled out as he recovers from work done on his knee.
Manny Smith is back in full training and Rekeil Pyke has recovered from a knock suffered against Maidstone, but Ricketts is keen not to rush Smith back into the side.
“If I asked Manny if he was ready to play, I’m sure he’d say yes,” Ricketts said, “but we’re not in a situation where I have to rush him.”
For more information on Saturday’s game and for tickets, visit our match-day guide.