SHAUN PEARSON says the writing was on the wall for Bryan Hughes due to Wrexham's woeful run of form but the Wrexham captain admits the players have to shoulder their share of the blame for his dismissal.

Hughes was sacked on Wednesday night with the Reds in the National League relegation zone and winless in eight games following the poor start to the season.

Appointed manager in February, Hughes led Wrexham to the play-offs last term, where they lost to Eastleigh in the eliminator, but he has paid the price after taking just 11 points from 12 games since the Reds kicked off a 12th campaign in the fifth tier.

Although Hughes has now departed, Pearson - preparing for tomorrow's home game against fellow strugglers Ebbsfleet United - has warned his team-mates to shape up or they risk following the former Reds midfielder out of The Racecourse exit door.

"The gaffer was a top man, a real good man, and it was a shame things didn't work out," said Pearson.

"But that is football and we have to move on pretty quickly because we have got a game tomorrow.

"We expect to be challenging at the top end and we are where we are.

"We have to take responsibility as a whole group - management team and players.

"Ultimately it is usually the manager that usually falls for it and come the end of the season, if we don't turn it around then no doubt plenty of players will get shipped out.

"It is a results business and hopefully results improve quickly, starting tomorrow."

Pearson admits Wrexham, three points adrift of safety with a game in hand, should not be in their current position at the wrong end of the table.

"The manager is the one in charge but the players are selected and we have not been good enough so far," said Pearson.

"This group of players should not be fourth bottom in this league.

"We need to improve on that and quickly because if we don't, before you know it we will be in a relegation battle and it will be a case of keeping ourselves out of trouble."

Wrexham, who kept a club record equalling 26 clean sheets last season, only have one shut-out to their name this term, with Hughes aiming to turn his side into a more attacking threat.

Pearson feels getting back to being defensively solid is key to turning things around.

"Ability wise the squad is very good. For what we have gained in some areas we may have lost a little bit in other areas," said Pearson.

"I think that has shown at times with our game management.

"When our defensive record was so good last season I talked about our attacking players being part of that.

"It is a real team effort both ways and I think we have lost a little bit of that.

"Whoever the new manager will be, hopefully he will tighten things up because we have conceded too many goals, whilst at the same time keeping the attacking threat that we do have."

Wrexham lost 3-2 at Fylde on Tuesday in what turned out to be Hughes' last game at the helm.

The Reds built up a 2-1 lead following an impressive first half performance but a second goalkeeping error by Christian Dibble allowed Fylde to level before scoring the winner.

Pearson was encouraged by the display and hopes to build on that showing against Ebbsfleet.

"I thought Tuesday was a big improvement," said Pearson. "First half we were very good.

"I know people say Fylde had a few chances when we were 3-2 down but that is because the game was stretched; if you are 2-1 up then you don't leave them spaces or give those chances away.

"It was disappointing we didn't get anything out of the game because for a long time, I thought we were much the better team."