Wrexham AFC have options if James Jennings receives a ban


Richard Williams

Dean Keates insists Wrexham can cope without James Jennings if the on-loan left-back receives a suspension from the FA of Wales.

Jennings attended a disciplinary panel hearing on Monday after he was charged with violent conduct for his part in the mass brawl that erupted at full time following a fiercely competitive derby against Chester at The Deva Stadium on January 21, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Having pleaded guilty, Jennings, pictured below, on loan from Cheltenham Town until the end of the season, will find out within 14 days if he will be banned.

“We had the hearing and now we are just waiting for all the paperwork to come through,” said Keates.

“We find out within 14 days so we will see when it all comes through, we are just waiting on the FAW to come back to us.

“James has made a difference in the building and on the pitch.

“It was a moment of madness, we will cross that bridge when we come to it and we will see what the punishment is.

”From the time of the game and by the time if the suspension comes through, you are looking at around eight weeks.”

But although defender Mitchell Lund has returned to Doncaster Rovers after spending a month on loan at Wrexham, Keates is ready to hand scholar Olly Marx his opportunity in the Reds’ back line if Jennings is suspended.

“The reason Mitchell came in was because we expected it to happen a lot sooner,” said Keates.

“It has not happened but we have got a lot more points on the board.

“There was the possibility of extending Mitchell but the longer it went on and with points on the board, there is the possibility of looking at young Olly playing in there and moving one or two around in the back four.

“Mitchell can go back now, he has come here, got fit, we have given him some minutes and he has done outstanding for us.

“We thank him for everything he has done and the contribution, all being well he can go back to Doncaster and play a part in their promotion push.”

Teenager Marx, who has been an unused substitute for Wrexham, has returned from a loan spell at Sutton Coldfield and Keates believes that will stand him in good stead when he is handed his senior Reds debut.

“It is different with George Harry (another second year scholar who has been involved with the first team), he is a forward and there is a team behind him,” said Keates.

“There is the midfield, back four and goalkeeper if you ever make a mistake.

“It is a bit different for Ollie, if he makes a mistake they are straight through onto the goalkeeper.

“The reason he went out on loan was to play against men, rough him up a little bit and get him used to a more physical side than it is in the under 23s.

“He has played some games, come back so when it all comes through he will be an option that I will look at slipping in there.”

Keates is set to bolster his squad by completing the signing of a winger who has been training with Wrexham before Saturday’s home game against Gateshead.

“Everything has been agreed with the winger and he should be all done and dusted in the next day or two,” added Keates.

See full story in the Leader

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