Wrexham AFC midfielder Paul Rutherford set to sign new deal

Reporter:

Richard Williams

PAUL RUTHERFORD hopes to finalise his new deal next week and commit his future to Wrexham.

The midfielder triggered a contract extension in February after starting a certain amount of matches but has delayed putting pen to paper until the season comes to an end.

Wrexham visit Eastleigh for the final game of the campaign on Saturday after which Rutherford will meet with manager Dean Keates and conclude negotiations.

“It is something that I will sit down and talk to the manager about next week,” said Rutherford. “There is a contract in place for me and I am happy to sign it.

“It is not something that will require a great deal of negotiating or anything, it is probably a little bit of protocol and procedure that we’ll just go through and iron out the final few little bits.

“It should be a matter of it’s done then.”

Rutherford, brought in from Southport last summer by then-Reds boss Gary Mills, finds himself in an unusual position as the 29-year-old is normally waiting to find out whether he will be offered a new contract when the season comes to an end.

“It is the first time in my career that I have ever had that little bit of security,” said Rutherford, who has also played for Barrow and Chester City. “It has been a weird experience for me, usually I have been in the same boat as everyone else.

“It is a tough time of the year for everyone, especially where you don’t know whether you will get retained or you’re not certain if other clubs will have you.

“It is not a nice time of the year to be a footballer at this level but you understand it is part and parcel of the job once you have been in it for a few years, it something that just comes with the territory.”

Rutherford has made 38 league appearances this term, scoring two goals, but he has been unhappy with his form over the last few months.

“I think I started quite well up until January and then I think I have hit a bit of a wall,” said Rutherford.

“I don’t think I have been playing as well as I was at the beginning of the season. 

“Hand on heart, I have not had the levels of consistency I was at.

“I have had games here and there or moments in games where I have been alright but I think a lot of the time I have fallen below my own standards as well towards the back end of the season.

“For whatever reason, I don’t know what it is, I just don’t think I have been as good as I was leading up to Christmas and probably beyond Christmas a little bit.”

Rutherford added: “I don’t think it has ever been my effort that has fallen short.

“It is just final decisions and little things that haven’t quite worked.

“Maybe my confidence has been affected a little bit. 

“There have been a few moments where there has been terrible finishing from me, there are no excuses for that.

“They are just the moments that have defined the back end of my season, those moments where I have not been clinical or decisive enough, and that is why I feel my back end of the season has been disappointing rather than the other side of it, and the effort side of it.”

Wrexham have endured a disappointing season and go into the final day clash against Eastleigh at The Silverlake Stadium sitting 12th in the National League.

Although a promotion challenge has not materialised, Rutherford is just looking to end on a high by beating the Spitfires. 

“It is always good to sign off with a win at the end of the season,” added Rutherford.

“Without providing a great deal of momentum, it is just nice to finish the season with a win and take that into the next season.

“But it is no secret that it has been a disappointing season.”

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