DERBY BUILD-UP: Dean Keates urges Wrexham AFC to make the town proud


Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES has urged his Wrexham players to make the town proud and beat arch rivals Chester.

Wrexham face the Blues in the second cross border derby of the season at The Deva Stadium tomorrow and Reds boss Keates, having played in previous meetings between the sides, doesn’t need reminding the importance of the fixture.

“It doesn’t need hyping up,” said Keates. “It is a derby and I know what it means to the fans, what it means to the town and what it means to the football club.

“There is an added edge to the game, I am not going to play it down.

“I know what the passion is. It is two different countries and I know what it means to the people of Wrexham.

“The lads know that and understand what it means so all being well we can put on a performance, get some points and make the fans go home happy and make the town proud.”

Keates, who spent five seasons as a player at Wrexham and took over as manager in October, is looking forward to taking charge of the club for the first time in a derby.

But the former midfielder, who has led Wrexham to back to back wins for the first time this season in the last two outings, is just focused on getting a positive result.

“It is not about me, it is what we can do for the football club,” said Keates.

“We have won two on the bounce so all being well we can go there, our game plan can work and we come away with a positive performance and result.

“I have got to pick the right tactics and pick the right team, all being well we can pull that off and get a result.”

Saturday’s 1-0 win against North Ferriby United came on the back of the 2-1 success over Woking, taking Wrexham up to 14th in the table and 12 points above the relegation zone.

Four new signings – James Jennings, Izale McLeod, Russell Penn and Ntumba Massanka – made their debuts across the two games and Keates is pleased with how things are going.

“We would like the wins to have been a bit more comfortable but it is steps in the right direction,” said Keates.

“The new lads have come in and had a great impact in the changing room and on the pitch, all we are doing is looking at going forward.

“All being well we can make another step in the right direction tomorrow.”

A midfielder, thought to be Stoke City’s Oliver Shenton who has appeared in the Premier League for the Potters, has been training with Wrexham this week and Keates hopes to complete a deal to sign the youngster on loan.

“We just need to have a chat with his club and if we can get it done, we will do it,” said Keates.

“He has trained well, I like the look of him and he has got quality. That is the reason he has played in the Premier League and he is highly regarded there.

“He will be another step in the right direction.

“He is only young so he is not going to come here and all of a sudden be a world beater but we can help him getting used to playing against men and he can help us go forward.”

Captain Rob Evans, who missed Saturday’s win against North Ferriby, is doubful for the clash but Keates has no fresh injury worries.

“Rob has had a bit of a niggle so it wasn’t worth the risk at the weekend,” said Keates. “We will see how he is.

“Not just the fact he is the captain and a local lad, he is just desperate to play and for me, he was showing some form and getting back to where I want him to be.”

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