DEAN KEATES hopes Doug Tharme finally gets the game-time he needs while on loan at Gainsborough Trinity.

The centre-back, who came through the ranks at Wrexham, has found opportunities limited since penning his first professional contract in the summer of 2018.

His only three appearances this season have come in the Scottish Challenge Cup while Tharme joined Telford and Tamworth on loan but the 19-year-old did not get the minutes he craved.

However, Keates is hoping the defender's one-month stay with Gainsborough is more successful.

"I had high hopes for Doug a few years ago but he has not really gone and played as much as he should for whatever reason," said Keates.

"There have been one or two bad loans.

"The one at Tamworth, it was requested that he was going to get the opportunity to go there and play for a month but looking at long term too because they had injuries, then all of a sudden it changed straight away.

"They got the players back so it has not really helped the situation.

"We just need to get the lad out on loan to play competitive games. He has only played a couple of Scottish Challenge Cup games this season and that is not enough for his development so he has gone back out."

Other players are set to follow Tharme and fellow centre-back Michael Chambers, whose contract has been terminated by mutual consent, out of The Racecourse exit door with Keates also targeting new signings.

Keates is looking to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window to boost Wrexham's battle against relegation but the Reds boss admits some of his business could be done towards the back end of the month.

"As I have said from day one, if I could get all the business done in the first two weeks while there were no games that would be amazing," said Keates.

"But without being derogatory to players, the better ones seem to become available in the last two weeks when clubs feel they need to freshen up themselves."