It’s not all doom and gloom!

Head in hands
“Have you seen the league table? We’re only second.”

As a Wrexham fan I enjoy discussing the club at any opportunity. However, I often find myself overhearing talk of the club that I find not only strange, but at times quite alarming. Recently, the topic seems to have been the transfer window or, more specifically, the lack of movement during the transfer window.

Whilst I cannot say for sure whether or not we were attempting to sign players behind the scenes, I can say that the situation we found ourselves in after the Southport game (Morrell Reaches For The Batphone As Mayebi’s Season Ends) certainly saw an unavoidable change in priorities. Whilst it has been apparent throughout the season that we are in need of a goalscorer and a creative midfielder (that can help unlock the seemingly endless amount of teams that park the bus in this league!), we are competing with teams that can offer far more financial incentive than we ourselves.

  Contract Signing
One of the luxuries we forfeited when the WST rescued the club from ever-growing list of footballing casualties was to break the bank in order to sign players. Now I for one have accepted this fate, and am perfectly content with life after the Moss/Roberts regime. However, it appears that some believe that our lack of new signings is essentially another forfeiting of the title. This seems to be a rather naive point of view. Sure, the club could have gone for broke in an attempt to achieve promotion at any cost but, in doing so, would jeopardise the long-term future of the club; this simply isn’t an option.

With several players returning to full fitness over the coming weeks, the squad will soon enough be at full strength, giving Morrell a selection headache that perhaps he hasn’t had to cope with as much as he would have liked this campaign. With a trip to Wembley becoming a real possibility, this will surely give players that extra bit of incentive to get themselves on the teamsheet.

Although we haven’t been able to maintain the top spot for a long period of time this season, we have managed to ensure that we are in contention. Anyone in the running come February is in with a chance of winning the title, and so it really is in our hands. With 15 league games left to grab that top spot, and 180 minutes of football against Gainsborough Trinity before a potential trip to Wembley, there is a real chance for this to be a season to remember for what was achieved on the pitch, rather than what failed to happen off of it.

Why Wrexham’s promotion push hinges on Speight’s goalscoring

At first glance, this title may look a bit over dramatic but if you take a minute or two to dwell on it, you will begin to see where I’m coming from. Done? Still don’t agree? Let me convince you.

This season has seen the goals have come from all areas of the pitch. With all of the strikers, bar Morrell, having faced lengthy times out on the sideline through injury or suspension (yes Danny, I’m looking at you!) this has been a necessity for the season to be as successful as it has been thus far. With just ten games to go, time is running out to catch Fleetwood Town and with the Cod Army looking unlikely to drop points any time soon, anything less than 30 points from a possible 30 for Wrexham should see them finish second and rewarded with a ticket into the lottery of the playoffs.

The win on Saturday against Barrow was soured by Wright picking up his second red card of the campaign and sees him miss the next 4 games (or 40% of the remainder of the season for the statistic lovers out there). With the squad being one of the smallest in the league already, an easily avoidable suspension does nothing but add to the pressure on the strikers to find the net in the final stages.

I suspect that Morrell will want to take a backseat approach during the run-in, as we’ve seen him do recently when all strikers have been available for selection, and this will be important in aiding him read the game and tweak the team where necessary when Wrexham inevitably find themselves in a close contest. For this reason, it is impossible to rely on him to fire in too many more goals.

Pogba seems to be struggling with match fitness, playing the full ninety in just two out his last five appearances. When on form, we all know he is capable of scoring crucial goals (Wimbledon, Luton etc…) but for me personally, he is too inconsistent. Whilst in the two most recent fixtures against Luton and Barrow he has put in two decent performances, he has also been known to look lethargic and disinterested from the first whistle. If the team starts to struggle, he is prone to fading from the game.

Wright, whilst banned for the next 4 games, will be available for the final 6. Since his return from dislocating his elbow against Brighton (which was his best performance in a Wrexham shirt by a country mile), he has managed to score consecutively in his last two games. Whilst it was looking like he was getting back to playing to his best, this suspension will mean no action for 4 weeks and I fear he will have lost some of that sharpness and confidence he was starting to show again.

Ogleby was signed during the January transfer window and has yet to start or even make the bench for a match as of yet. Whilst he looks like a good prospect, I don’t think he will be fully utilised this season unless an injury crisis was to occur.

Enter Speight. Signed by Saunders in the summer, the former Bradford City player is Wrexham’s top goal scorer with 15 goals in the league so far. He has also been one of the main sources of assists, with 6 to date. What he lacks in aerial ability he makes up for with a high work rate and a deadly combination of strength and pace. Surprisingly, for a striker, he is also one of the most competent players defensively in the side. Since returning from injury earlier this year, his confidence has improved week by week and this culminated in him scoring on Saturday.

With him starting every game when available, as long as he doesn’t pick up a serious injury (touch wood!) then I predict him to be the one who fires in the goals that lead Wrexham to success this season. His pace, strength and dribbling ability has managed to do damage to the teams Wrexham have faced so far and I think he has enough in his locker to do the same damage to the opposition during the final fixtures.