Martin Riley calls for Wrexham AFC shut out against Aldershot Town

Reporter:

Richard Williams

MARTIN RILEY feels the only blip during Wrexham’s upturn in fortunes is a lack of clean sheets.

Wrexham are unbeaten in six games and the Reds are  up to 10th place in the National League table.

The Reds have conceded one goal in five of those games, the only shut-out coming in the 1-0 win against North Ferriby United, and although pleased with how the defence is performing Riley would like more clean sheets.

“Another decent result at Dover, a tough place to go, and long may the run continue,” Riley said after Wrexham came from behind to draw 1-1 with the Whites.

“Disappointed that we didn’t keep a clean sheet, we just seem to be slipping to one goal at the moment.

“It is disappointing that we haven’t chalked up more clean sheets but defensively we are looking decent.”

Riley and fellow centre-back Curtis Tilt earned praise from manager Dean Keates for their displays at high-flying Dover Athletic on Saturday.

The duo have partnered each other in the heart of defence for the last 10 games and Riley believes they have developed a good understanding.

“It is really good to play with someone that you get on with so well,” said Riley.

“We just seem to have a really good balance, left and right, and we have got a good relationship off the pitch as well which helps.”

Wrexham will aim to continue their impressive run against Aldershot at The Racecourse.

The Shots are play-off contenders but Riley says Wrexham, who have won their last five home games, are in no mood to surrender that record.

“Another big game, I thought Aldershot were very good when we lost at their place earlier in the season,” said Riley.

“Obviously different circumstances now, we are a different unit. It is going to be difficult but hopefully we can keep our home form going.

“The lads are very confident playing at home and we will be looking for three points.”

Wrexham are now closer to the top-five than the relegation zone and Riley says the Reds deserve credit for the revival, although play-off talk is on the backburner.

“Six-eight weeks ago we were looking over our shoulders but the turnaround has been magnificent,” said Riley.

“The fact that people are even mentioning the play-offs is testament to the lads and the gaffer.

“The fact we could have gone four points behind Dover with a win is unbelievable but we are not thinking about it at the moment, we are just looking to build on the run.

“And if we can keep this run going and are in touching distance with six games to play then who knows.”

Wrexham will be without midfielder John Rooney who turned down a new contract in favour of joining lowly Guiseley on loan until the end of the season.

Rooney, the 11-goal leading scorer, could not agree terms with Keates but Riley says the Wrexham players are focussed on the job in hand.

“The lads don’t really get involved when it comes to something like this, it is an issue between the player and the club,” added Riley.

“From the outside looking in it is a strange move but one that John has decided to take.

“If the gaffer wanted to keep him that desperately he would have got something sorted, it is the manager’s decision.

“It never is a one-man team but you do like to keep your best players around and it is a shame he has gone.

“We just have to move on and get on with it.”

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