Captain Keates: 'We can do it'

Reporter:

Richard Williams

CAPTAIN Dean Keates today issued a rallying cry insisting Wrexham can still reach the play-off final.

Wrexham go into tonight’s semi-final second leg against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road (7.45pm) trailing 3-0 following a disappointing start to their play-off campaign.

A disastrous 20 minute spell in the first half of Thursday’s first leg at The Racecourse led to Luton scoring three times without reply.

And although Luton remain huge favourites to reach the May 21 Conference final at The City of Manchester Stadium, midfielder Keates remains upbeat about Wrexham’s chances of turning the tie around.

“It was a massive anti-climax on Thursday,” said Keates. “The fans turned up in their numbers and they were unbelievable.

“The club has been going through a bit of a tough time at the minute, it was a great turn-out and we let everybody down.

“But we have still got a chance – it is not over yet. It is only half-time in the tie.
“Luton scored three goals at our place so there is no reason why we can’t go there and score three or four at their place.

“Everyone is upbeat, now we have got one last chance.

“We have only got this one game left of the season but hopefully if we can do everything we set out to do, we will have another game to play in.”

Keates believes that if Wrexham can get on the scoresheet, they are capable of going on to get more goals and the 32-year-old admitted it will be interesting to see how Luton respond.

“We don’t want to be conceding and we have got to go there and get goals,” said Keates.

“If we can get one, maybe that will lead to two and we will see what Luton’s reaction is.

“If complacency has set in for Luton that would be good for us but I would be very surprised knowing their manager.

“We have got to worry about ourselves and not them.

“The other night was more about us not performing than them doing a good job.
“We have got to go there, put that to bed and put the wrongs right.”

Keates, who has won six promotions, admits Thursday’s defeat was a low point in his career.

“I have been relegated once or twice but on Thursday our confidence was sky high but we just didn’t perform,”he said. “At the end of the day it was a massive low.

“The fans turned out in their numbers and everybody was looking forward to the game.

“Getting promoted would put a lot of money back into the club and would steady the ship.

“Obviously we are up against it, we have just got to go to Luton, give a good account of ourselves and hopefully come away with a better result.”

After Wrexham under-performed in the first leg, Keates was relieved that Luton did not win by a greater margin.

But Keates is not dwelling on the defeat and remains focussed on the job in hand.
“It is not mission impossible, it could have been a lot worse,” he said. “The only positive we can take out of the game is that we only conceded three goals.

“We have watched the game and we know where we went wrong. We just didn’t turn up and it was a case of us killing ourselves as good as Luton were.

“It was very disappointing but it has gone now – it can’t be changed so we have just got to get on with it.

“We have now got a massive game tonight.”

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