Wrexham FC midfielder keen on a cup run


Richard Williams

DEAN KEATES remains focused on winning promotion but the Wrexham captain is also targeting FA Trophy success.

Wrexham reached the third round of the competition after beating Solihull Moors 3-2 at The Racecourse on Saturday and the Reds will find out who their opponents are in the last 16 at lunchtime today.

But Andy Morrell’s side are also going well in the league and the Reds, who occupy third spot and trail leaders Newport County by three points but with a game in hand, travel to second placed Grimsby Town on Friday.

And midfielder Keates, who has won promotion six times during his career, knows what the priority is, but just wants to keep winning matches whatever the competition.

“We just want to win games and it breeds confidence,” said Keates.

“It is another win on the back of last weekend’s fixture (against Nuneaton) so we go into Grimsby with two wins.

“The bread and butter for the club is the league and the aim is to get out of this division and win the league at the end of the season.

“If that happens and we have a trip to Wembley, that would be fantastic, but the main aim is the league so we are focused on Grimsby.”

Wrexham had to come from behind twice and although Keates admitted the Conference North side had put up a real fight, he felt the Reds could have made it easier for themselves.

“I think we made it harder than it should have been, we didn’t really perform that great,” said Keates.

“We had a few chances first half, if we’d have took them and had a little bit more composure in the box it would have made it a little bit easier for us but give them credit, they came and made it hard for us.

“Their kid scored a great goal in the first half and they got one off a set-piece in the second half but maybe we should have defended the second one better.

“We have to take the positives out of it, it was great character to come from 1-0 down to get back to 1-1 and then from 2-1 to get a 3-2 victory.”

Keates scored what turned out to be the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 65th minute after player-boss Morrell was brought down in the area.

And although he missed a penalty in last season’s FA Cup shoot-out defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion, and was also unsuccesful from the spot at Forest Green Rovers in the same month, Keates had no hesitation in stepping up in the absence of regular taker Neil Ashton who was rested.

“Ashy has took them and I said to Moz, who do you want to have it and I said I was confident to take it,” added Keates.

“Obviosuly I missed last season and I missed the game straight after, it is part and parcel of it.

“I think a lot more was made of it because it was two games after each other. That is football.

“It went for me today but Ashy is our penalty taker.”

See full story in the Leader

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