Wrexham AFC defender Manny Smith aiming for 20 clean sheets

Reporter:

Rich Williams

MANNY SMITH wants 20 clean sheets this season and he is confident of achieving that target.

Wrexham kept their 15th shut-out on Saturday as the Reds thrashed Torquay United 4-0 at The Racecourse, registering the biggest win of the campaign.

Smith, ever present in the National League since returning to Wrexham for a second spell last summer, has played a big part in helping the Reds boast the best defensive record in the division.

With 18 matches remaining, Smith’s aim of reaching the 20 clean sheet mark seems a realistic goal and it would help Wrexham rack up more wins in the push for promotion.

“Our aim is to get to 20 clean sheets. It is achievable,” said Smith.

“We always set targets that are hard to reach, there is no point setting them low.

“Once a team knows that we are capable of keeping clean sheets and we are always hanging in matches, then it only takes one opportunity to nick it 1-0 and then it could eventually finish 2-0.

“While it is 0-0 for a long period of time, we have got the ability to go and nick games.”

As well as keeping Torquay at bay Smith contributed at the other end by scoring Wrexham’s second goal, taking his tally for the season to three.

Fellow centre-back Shaun Pearson and left-back James Jennings have the same number of goals and Smith joked that it was about time right-back Kevin Roberts got off the mark for Wrexham.

“Shaun has also got three, Jenno has got three as well, we just need Robbo to pull his finger out and start contributing!” said Smith.

“It is always good for defenders to score and contribute with goals.

“But the main thing for the defence was keeping a clean sheet like every game and try and get nearer our target.” 

Smith believes he and captain Pearson are capable of getting at least 10 goals between them during the coming months.

“We don’t count it as three goals apiece, we count it as six,” said Smith.

“I always get one chance a game and between me and Shaun, I think we would like to hit double figures. But our main focus is the clean sheets.”

Victory ended a run of three successive draws, the last of which came when Barrow scored a 95th minute equaliser on New Year’s Day.

Smith admits Wrexham, who have not lost at home in the league since the opening day of the season when Macclesfield won 1-0, needed three points ahead of a free weekend, with the Reds back in action at Hartlepool United next Saturday.

“It was a much needed win for the boys on the back of a disappointing draw against Barrow when we thought we should have won the game,” said Smith.

“We need to start racking up the wins, especially at home. We think we can beat anyone at home, our record speaks for itself.

“Some teams come here and make it difficult for us because they know how good we are at home.

“It was good to get four goals as well for the first time this season.

“With the break this weekend, it was important for us to get a convincing win which we did.”

Fourth placed Wrexham are seven points behind leaders Macclesfield with a game in hand but Smith is just focussed on the Reds maintaining the promotion challenge rather than worrying about their rivals.

“We are in a good position,” added Smith. “If we look back on certain games, we can say that we should have more points but then there are games we have been lucky and we have got wins.

“We have just got to concentrate on what games are left now, concentrate on ourselves and just take it one game at a time.

“Then hopefully when the end of the season comes, everything will speak for itself.”

Email:

rich.williams@nwn.co.uk

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