Saunders: More players may need to go

Reporter:

Richard Williams

DEAN Saunders admits he might have to release more players than he wants to enable him to make more new signings.

With the majority of the Wrexham squad out of contract in the summer with the exception of Curtis Obeng, Andy Mangan, Adrian Cieslewicz and Chris Maxwell, Saunders has challenged his players to show they deserve new deals.

Working with a reduced budget next season, Saunders said the likelihood is that more players will have to leave as he plots to turn Wrexham into genuine promotion challengers next season.

And ahead of the Reds’ final match of the season at Hayes and Yeading United tomorrow, Saunders insisted a final decision on the future of some players could still change.

“It is not an end of season game, it is a game we want to win,” said Saunders. “There is plenty of time to rest after this.

“It is another chance for people to show me they want to be here. My mind can change quickly with one shocking performance but if someone steps up tomorrow and pulls trees up then it makes you think.

“Money will dictate a lot of it and how much I have got. I might have to let a few players go that I don’t want to. I won’t be able to afford some of them.

“I am targeting players but for me to be able to afford to get them, I will have to have less players.

“I have got a vision for next season, I have had a plan from the start. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I am now a bit wiser about this league.

“I know what we need to get up there with the rest of them and out of this league.”

Saunders has already bolstered his squad for the 2010-11 campaign after persuading Histon midfielder Nathanial Knight-Percival to join Wrexham.

Able to play in a variety of positions, Knight-Percival has signed a pre-contract agreement after turning down a new deal at Histon, and Saunders revealed he has persuaded another player to join Wrexham.

“I have got one more who has agreed to join,” said Saunders. “He is a good player who is playing tomorrow so I will announce it when the time is right – some time next week.”

The versatile Knight-Percival is expected to link up with Wrexham next week but with Histon still not mathematically safe from relegation, Saunders said the 23-year-old has got a job to do when he makes his final Stutes appearance against Barrow tomorrow.

“Nat has got to give everything for Histon tomorrow,” said Saunders. “Nat has got to be a professional and work hard for Histon, then he can think about coming to Wrexham after that.”

Saunders handed a debut to 19-year-old Johnny Hunt in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Oxford United, the second successive game Wrexham have lost to a side who are guaranteed a place in the play-offs.

And while he has not ruled out experimenting tomorrow – defender Kai Edwards and 16-year-old trainee midfielder Jamie Morton could come into the reckoning – Saunders said the emphasis is finishing the season on a winning note.

“I will have a look at what I have got,” h said. “It was nice for Johnny to get his first game, he gave it everything he’s got and it will do him good to have played.

“We have lost the last two games 1-0 and I don’t like the taste of it. I want to be going into the summer with a win under our belts so I will decide on who to pick.”

Currently 12th in the table, Wrexham can finish tenth position for the second consecutive season if they win at Hayes and Yeading and other results go in their favour.

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