KEVIN ROBERTS believes a packed Victoria Park will galvanise Hartlepool United – but insists Wrexham will be fired up to spoil the party.

Troubled Pools need to raise around £200,000 by January 25 to stave off the threat of administration and a full house is expected with fans from across the north east supporting the club in their hour of need.

Fifth placed Wrexham are seven points behind leaders Macclesfield Town with a game in hand and defender Roberts is focused on maintaining the promotion challenge with victory over Pools who sit 17th.

“It is going to be a difficult game,” said Roberts, who was in the side when Hartlepool drew 0-0 at The Racecourse in September.

“I know they are down having their troubles but I remember playing them here when they were supposedly struggling at the time and they were a very good team with some experienced players.

“We don’t know what mindset they are going to be in but if they have got a full house turning up, they are experienced players and I am sure they will react to that.

“Maybe it will make it even more difficult but we have just got to try and keep a clean sheet first and foremost, and the way we have been playing of late we should be able to nick a goal and hopefully get the three points.”

Roberts knows what it is like to be at a club that faces an uncertain future having played for Chester City when Wrexham’s arch rivals had financial problems of their own, which led to them eventually going out of business.

“It can be difficult,” said Roberts.

“With people not getting paid, I don’t think it has gone that far yet so the players should be okay but it is not a nice thing.

“We have got to go there and get three points off them.

“They want to climb the table but we do too, we want to be fighting for top spot.”

Wrexham go into the game on the back of a 4-0 home win against bottom side Torquay in the last outing a fortnight ago and Roberts hopes to build on that succcess.

“I thought we played very well in patches in the first half and then we just saw the game out in the second half,” said Roberts. “That is seven goals at home in the last two games so you want to keep that going.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have a game due to the FA Trophy but we might be grateful of that further down the line.”

Roberts was taken off at half-time against Torquay due to illness with Wrexham leading 3-0 and he admitted there was no way he could continue.

“The day before in training I felt a bit weak but I thought I could get through the game,” added Roberts.

“In the first half I didn’t feel myself at all.

“You don’t want to let the team down and I think it was a bit of a relief that we scored three goals because I thought I could get myself off at half-time.

“I just didn’t want to make a mistake which would lead to a goal and when you are not feeling anywhere near 100 per cent, you have got the chance of letting the lads down.

“I told the manager I didn’t think it would be a good idea if I stayed on the pitch and we went on to win the game anyway.”