DEAN KEATES thanked supporters for the reception he received ahead of his first game back in charge of Wrexham.

Keates has been named manager for a second time, although his return has been met with a mixed response from fans after he departed The Racecourse to take over hometown club Walsall in March 2018.

Wrexham were challenging for promotion at the time but failed to secure a play-off spot following a woeful run-in, and a dreadful start to the current campaign, with the Reds at the wrong end of the National League, has led to Keates succeeding Bryan Hughes as manager.

Although not all supporters have welcomed Keates' appointment, he was applauded by fans ahead of Tuesday's 1-1 home draw with Harrogate Town and it meant a lot to him.

"Personally, a massive thanks for the reception that I got from the fans," said Keates. "I appreciate that.

"I know it is not the full 100 per cent backing but it is football; football is about opinions, everybody is entitled to them and everybody has their own opinion.

"All I can do is try to effect things on the pitch first and foremost; get some results and give the whole place and town a lift, and bring the football club back together again.

"The only way I can do that is by winning football matches."

Keates, who originally took charge of Wrexham in October 2016, has pledged to attend supporters' group meetings and answer questions from fans as he sets about "building bridges".

"I left, I came back and I have heard the Judas ones being put at me," said Keates.

"There are bridges that need building and I know that. People were disappointed but as I stated, if it wasn't my hometown club I probably wouldn't have left.

"But it is in the past, I am here now and been employed to be manager of the football club; I need to address things on the pitch first and foremost.

"As when I was manager last time, I will go back out there to the supporters' groups and answer the questions as honest as I can but as it stands, I have got to do things on the football pitch first, and change the culture and the environment of the football club."