5 Questions Before Notts County – Wrexham AFC

Will We Miss Jake Lawlor?

Jake Lawlor’s suspension means Shaun Pearson will have a new partner. I’d assume it’ll be Michael Chambers, and that his absence on the bench on Tuesday had no further significance than he lost out to a more versatile option in Adam Barton.

The quality in Chambers which appears to have attracted our coaching staff most is his ability to bring the ball out from a left-sided position in a back three. He won’t be playing in that shape in Nottingham, but this is a chance for him to show that the excellent defensive header which was his first touch on debut at Dover is a better indication of his qualities than when he misjudged a straight ball and allowed Dover a chance to score later on.

Does Paul Rutherford Come Into The Front Three?

Mark Harris and JJ Hooper were superb against Halifax, and combined well as a pair when we went down to ten men. Obviously we’ll go back to a front three on Sunday, but who will be the third striker?

Leighton McIntosh’s movement inside created space for James Jennings to get up the flank, but he struggled to make an impression on the Halifax defence. Wrexham brought in new strikers to address the issue of a front three composed of the likes of Paul Rutherford and Stuart Beavon, who have a lot of quality but don’t score many goals. However, it must be tempting to give Rutherford a start, not least because he’ll work hard in a game when we’re bound to suffer spells without the ball, and his movement is good so he’ll be able to make room for Jennings’ overlaps.

Which Wing Will Mark Harris Be On?

Who Wrexham decide to select up front will also be influenced by this decision. Mark Harris was very impressive on the left during the first three games, cutting inside onto his stronger foot and pinging in shots. However, when the introduction of McIntosh into the side on Tuesday forced him to switch to the other flank, he was even more impressive, especially in the first half when he constantly ran in behind the left back.

Theoretically, playing him on the right makes him less likely to score as he’s not naturally going to make those runs inside – his movement in-to-out was what stood out on Tuesday, and he scored when he switched into the middle.

When Will We Score From A Set Piece?

I’m not pressing any panic buttons here, but if we don’t score from a set piece on Sunday it’ll be the first time we haven’t done so in the first five games of the season since 2007. Set piece goals have been important to us over the last couple of seasons – our top scorer last season was a centre back, after all!

The good news is that set piece delivery has actually been good this season. On Tuesday in particular, Luke Summerfield put a lot of corners into good areas. We just need someone to bury one now!

Can We Perform For The Travelling Army?

There’ll be a lot of Wrexham fans in the away end at Meadow Lane, so let’s hope that this team is able to perform for them. Recently it’s felt like the more fans we take on the road, the worse or results are. Last season we took over 900 fans to 6 away games: we took one point from those games and gave those supporters just 2 goals to celebrate. If we’re going to improve on last season, we need to step up our game in this sort of match.

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