PLAYER-MANAGER Andy Morrell has stressed the importance of picking up a league victory before Wrexham resume their FA Cup campaign.
A 2-0 victory over Southport last weekend put Wrexham in the first round of the competition where they will host Alfreton next Saturday.
Before then is tomorrow’s clash at Braintree and having seen Wrexham taste defeat in their last Conference outing against Lincoln a fortnight ago, Morrell does not want his side to suffer back to back defeats for the first time since he took charge 13 months ago.
“With not having a league game last week, nor next weekend, it will be a while to get points on the board so it is important we go to Braintree with the right attitude,” said Morrell.
“If you give me promotion I would ditch the FA Cup, but unfortunately I can’t guarnantee that, so we have got to do well in both.
“We have managed to get to the first round of the cup but the league is our bread and butter and we have got to make sure we are right at it tomorrow.
“I think the league and the cup can go hand in hand. It didn’t affect us at all last season and probably pushed us on a little bit because it got the town right behind us.
“If we can do the same then great, but it is important we get back to winning ways in the league.”
Braintree, just two points above the relegation zone, have also reached the first round of the FA Cup and their home clash against League One leaders Tranmere Rovers has been selected for live television coverage but Morrell doesn’t think that will be a distraction to Alan Devonshire’s side.
“They are tough side to break down and they have got threats themselves so it will be a tough game but we are doing it right and we are travelling the day before and giving ourselves the best chance,” said Morrell.
“I doubt their minds will be on the cup. They have got an experienced manager and I am sure they will just get on with it and try to get three points.
Morrell has to decide whether to hand right-back Danny Alfei, who has joined Wrexham on loan for a second time from Swansea City, a starting place with the 20-year-old not allowed to feature in next week’s FA Cup tie.
“We are getting a few niggles here and there to a few of our defenders so that is why I brought Danny in. It gives a bit of competition for places across the back four which is good,” added Morrell. “Danny trained yesterday, he will be in the squad and we will decide which way we are going to go with it.”
Defender Martin Riley and striker Rob Ogleby remain doubtful so young striker Nick Rushton will again be in the squad.
And Rushton wants to be a regular fixture in the Wrexham squad and hopes a first start is on the horizon.
The 20-year-old, a product of the club’s youth policy, was handed his chance with Ogleby sidelined through injury and loanee Andy Bishop recalled by parent club Bury.
Rushtom, who has made three substitute appearances this month, said: “I have been waiting for my chance. I hope to stay in the squad for as long as possible and hopefully I get a few starts.
“But the front-line are doing well and we are winning, I will just wait for my chance and see what happens.”
Rushton impressed Morrell in pre-season and the frontman, who penned a new one-year deal in the summer, admitted all he lacked was a goal.
“I was very happy about how pre-season went,” said Rushton. “I needed a goal and still have not scored but my performances have been alright.”
Although he has not found the back of the net, Rushton did set-up fellow striker Brett Ormerod who scored his first Wrexham goal in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Southport in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at The Racecourse.
“I was happy to set Brett up for his first goal and have an assist,” said Rushton. “I was thinking about going on my own but I saw him in a better position so I gave it to him.”