The waiting game continues for Wrexham FC winger


Richard Williams

STEVEN LESLIE saw his long-awaited debut put on hold once again at the weekend but the winger is happy to bide his time knowing there are still 16 crucial games to come in the push for promotion.

Leslie did not receive clearance in time to face Bath City on January 28 after joining from Shrewsbury Town the previous day and he was denied any action on Saturday as the game against Darlington was postponed because of a frozen pitch at The Arena.

But while he is chomping at the bit and desperate to show fans what he is capable of after being frozen out at League Two side Shrewsbury, Leslie remains upbeat and the 24-year-old is looking forward to facing Hayes and Yeading United at The Racecourse on Saturday.

“Obviously you can't do anything about the weather being as cold as it is lately,” said Leslie. “I will just have to wait another week.

“Hopefully the weather improves and my first game is on Saturday.

“There are still 16 games for me to play in this season at Wrexham. Hopefully they are spread out through weeks and don’t all come at once. But we will just take each game as it comes.

“I can’t wait to get onto the pitch but these things happen. You can’t help the weather.

“I will just continue to work hard in training, prepare for Saturday’s game and see how it goes.”

Wrexham, who will have gone three weeks without a game when they face Hayes at the weekend, have had to rearrange matches against Kidderminster Harriers, Ebbsfleet United and now Darlington.

And although there are more mid-week games to fit in during the final 11 weeks of the regular season, Leslie believes Wrexham are well equipped to cope with the schedule.

“Last season was bad over the winter period and a few games were called off. Then you are playing catch-up,” said Leslie, who made more than 100 appearances for Shrewsbury after making his debut in 2006.

“I wasn’t at Shrewsbury towards the end of the season, I was in my first spell on loan at Hereford, but they still managed to get to the play-offs.

“I think we have a big enough squad here at Wrexham to deal with it, and we have got good players to come in if others are feeling tired with the amount of games left.

“The big squad will help in the push for promotion.”

Leslie, who left Shrewsbury by mutual consent before signing a deal at Wrexham until the end of the season, had just completed a second spell at League Two rivals Hereford United.

Although he last played a competitive match on December 17 when Hereford drew 1-1 at Plymouth Argyle, Leslie does not believe fitness is a problem.

“Training was hard last week but it is good because the lads’ fitness shows,” added Leslie. “My last game was a reserve team game against Wrexham about a month ago so I haven’t played a match for a while.

“I haven’t played 90 minutes in a long time but I will just keep working on my fitness.
“I played 45 minutes in a practice match in training on Friday and felt a bit tired but by the end of the week I will be right.”

The Darlington clash was postponed on Friday morning and player-manager Andy Morrell accepted it was the correct decision: “It is very disappointing but they made a decision early which is best for everybody,” he said.

“The training pitches here are rock solid underneath water so I can understand it. I am disappointed but you have got to get on with it, there is nothing you can do. You can’t play the games on artificial pitches or anything like that.”

Darlington, who went into administration last month and need to raise £500,000 to keep the club running until the end of the season, are now without a home game until next month and face an uncertain future.

But Morrell hopes the game against Wrexham can be re-arranged before the end of February.

“It was a sensible decision but Darlington need the money,” said Morrell.

“Fortunately they called it off early so they don’t have to pay for the food and us travelling up there and then the game getting called off.

“I think we are going to try and get it played before the end of the month so we will just have to wait and see."

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