Dean Keates rules Wrexham AFC out of the play-off hunt after Aldershot Town defeat


Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES dismissed Wrexham’s chances of making the play-offs after the Reds’ six-game unbeaten run came to an end.

Wrexham, whose previous defeat came at Southport on New Year’s Day, were second best against Aldershot.

The loss, which ended a run of five successive home wins, leaves 10th placed Wrexham 10 points away from the play-offs with 12 matches left.

With other teams having games in hand, both above and below Wrexham, Keates believes it is unrealistic to think the Reds could make the top-five.

“It has been mentioned many times, all we have told the lads is to concentrate on the next game,” said Keates.

“If we’d have won, you look at the table and you think there’s a possibility, but realistically we have played a lot more games.

“The teams in the top half of the league are consistent so if you have played two or three games more than somebody, somebody is going to pick up at least three or maybe five points in the games they have got in hand on you.”

Keates, who has put pen to paper on a new three-and-a-half-year contract, remains upbeat after steering Wrexham away from the relegation zone.

“We have done okay, six unbeaten but today is not good enough,” said Keates. 

“On a personal note I was over the moon to sign a contract but disappointed with what happened today.

“The Build the Budget, the fans have been unbelievable, over 4,300 here today, thank you to them as the support was amazing.

“We could hear them throughout the game, it’s just disappointing that we could not give them the performance they deserved.”

Keates, aiming to get back to winning ways at Solhull Moors on Saturday, added: “It has been a good couple of weeks for everybody, we have had some decent results and it has been a good feeling around the place. We are not going to lose that.”

Wrexham had chances in the first half, Paul Rutherford bringing a fantastic save out of Jake Cole, but were less effective after the break.

Aldershot, who have emerged as play-off contenders under Gary Waddock, scored twice after the break to extend their unbeaten run to eight games.

Keates admits it was disappointing to have experienced a rare loss at The Racecourse, but says Wrexham have to put it behind them.

“We are frustrated and disappointed,” said Keates. 

“The mentality has changed over the last month to six weeks.

“We have got to go again. We have been on a half decent run, beat teams and created the gap that we needed to create going forward from the bottom four but we are looking up.

“It is just disappointing, we had a chance to go two points behind Aldershot but it has not happened.

“We have to go to Solihull and all being well get three points down there.”

Shots boss Waddock, whose side are two points away from the play-offs, said: “I thought second half we played very well and came out deserved winners.

“Wrexham are a good side, they are in good form and the manager has done a very good job so we had to keep ourselves in the game first half and we did.

“The staff at half-time were very good and the players carried out the instructions that we gave them.”

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