RUTHERFORD | "These Are The Games You Want To Be Involved In"

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Tue 20 Nov 2018

Paul Rutherford is relishing Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Leyton Orient and the winger hopes a bouncing Racecourse will play into Wrexham’s hands.

Rutherford has started all three games in November so far, setting up the first two goals in the Dragons’ most recent home game – the 3-1 victory against Gateshead.

And the 31-year-old believes the start will be key to Saturday’s match against the league leaders, who leapfrogged Wrexham last weekend – particularly on home turf.

“These are the games you want to be involved in,” he said, “the top-of-the-table clashes that can define seasons.

“As the gaffer has said, we’ve earned the right for this to be a big game. It’s one everyone will put down as a six-pointer.

“When the fans are behind us and this place is bouncing there are not too many more formidable places to come, certainly in this league. If we get all those formulas right and it’s a good start on Saturday, then I think it will be a difficult afternoon for Orient.

“Equally, they’re a good side. They’re not top of the league by happenchance – it’s going to be a tough test and we need to show everyone why we’re one of the top three sides in the league. It’s going to be an occasion that we’ll savour.”

Having visited the Racecourse as a visiting player before signing from Southport in 2016, Rutherford knows all about how difficult a place it can be to travel.

And he enjoys putting us in front against the Heed

Wrexham are unbeaten at home so far this season, drawing three and winning eight – including the last six in a row.

And the winger wants the team to be on the front foot from the off on Saturday, knowing Orient will want to silence the Wrexham faithful.

“If we have a good start and the fans get behind us it could be a long afternoon for Leyton Orient. That’s genuinely how I see it,” he said.

“I’ve come here as an opposition player myself and one of the things we used to say was, ‘let’s keep the fans quiet and bed in’.

“I’m sure it will be on Leyton Orient’s mind that they want to dampen our spirits and try and get on top of the game, so it is paramount that we attack the game from the off.”

Rutherford, who passed 100 Wrexham appearances earlier in the season, has seen the club through its latest transition and he insists the Dragons are stronger than ever at the moment.

Wrexham go into the game unbeaten in the last 11 matches in all competitions, sitting third in the table – a point behind Orient – and with a televised FA Cup second round tie with Newport on the horizon too.

And Rutherford believes a positive vibe is coursing through the Racecourse as we approach the halfway point in the season.

Paul Rutherford thanks the fans for their support

“I think you can see now we are starting to assert ourselves on teams a bit more,” he said. “Last year we were dogged – we weren’t necessarily just hanging on, but we were built around a solid defence.

“This year, we’ve kept that solid defence but we’ve added slightly more going forward and slightly more control of games.

“As a playing squad and as a club there’s a lot more optimism, which started last year, and a lot more unity between fans, staff and players. Everything’s pulling in the right direction.

“If I’m honest, I’ve enjoyed my whole time here – I’ve loved being at Wrexham, I love what the club’s about and I love fighting for promotions.

“This is what I’ve wanted my whole career and I want to make the most of every opportunity I get.”

Third-placed Wrexham welcome league leaders Leyton Orient to the Racecourse on Saturday November 24, with kick-off at the Racecourse at 3pm. For tickets, hospitality and more information see our match-day guide.

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