Wrexham AFC can go up a level says manager Dean Keates

Reporter:

Rich Williams

WREXHAM have raised their game this season and Dean Keates says his players are eager to lift the bar even higher in the quest for promotion.

The Reds go into tomorrow’s match against Ebbsfleet United at The Racecourse sitting third in the National League, just three points behind leaders Dover Athletic.

Although pleased with how things have gone so far this season, Keates believes there is still more to come from Wrexham as they push for a top-seven finish.

“We have had opportunities to go and take top spot, it has not happened,” said Keates.

“Obviously we went joint top last week and it was nice, but results changed it.

“The whole season is going to be a rollercoaster and that shows with how many teams are in contention.

“We have got a level of consistency, we just need to keep showing it.

“If we keep touching the standards that we have managed so far, and we can raise them a little bit more – which I know the lads are desperate to – I think we will give ourselves a chance of being part of the shake up at the end of the season.”

Keates revamped the squad in the summer and he admits Wrexham have progressed quicker than he envisaged, with the players earning praise for the way they have applied themselves since the season kicked off.

“We know what the responsibility and the expectations of the football club are,” said Keates.

“It has been completely ripped up from the end of last season, not just on the field but a lot of changes behind the scenes.

“If I am entirely honest, it has probably come together quicker than I expected.

“It is a tight group, they are working hard and that is all I ask of them.

“Only once this season have I had a question against them and that was the Fylde game.

“I was disappointed with the result but the reaction was there.

“All being well they can put on a show tomorrow and get three points.”

The division is tight with the top 14 clubs separated by just nine points, but Keates believes a group of teams will soon breakaway.

“Normally you look at 10 games in regular seasons and then you see a little pack break, and then it goes again,” said Keates.

“But this season I think you will be looking at 25 games before you might see a split, and who is going to be in contention for those seven places.

“There will be about 12 or 13 teams chasing those seven places and then there will probably be a little bit of a divide who the teams are looking to make sure they are not in a relegation battle.”

Keates is just focused on his own side rather than Wrexham's rivals and that means taking three points off Ebbsfleet before another home game against bottom of the table Solihull Moors on Tuesday.

“It is not just the importance of doing well at home, we are in a very big pack and we just need to keep picking up points to stay in the pack,” said Keates.

“We can only control what happens inside our football club.

“We are at home and we will go out and do our best to get the three points.”

But Keates knows 11th placed Ebbsfleet, who have drawn more games than any other team, cannot be taken lightly tomorrow.

“It is going to be a test, Ebbsfleet are a decent team and they are not far off,” added Keates.

“They have had a lot of draws but I think they will be up there challenging towards the end of the season.”

Email:

rich.williams@nwn.co.uk

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