DEAN KEATES believes his players have stepped up to the plate and answered their critics at a crucial stage in the season.

The struggling Reds are battling to avoid relegation from the National League but have won their last two games, with Saturday's superb 2-0 success at second placed Harrogate Town coming on the back of a 3-0 home victory against Woking.

Those back-to-back wins leave 16th placed Wrexham four points above the drop zone with 14 games to go, and Keates, who returned for a second spell as manager in October, is hoping to continue the revival against lowly Dagenham and Redbridge at The Racecourse on Saturday.

"There have been a lot of changes at the football club since I left but the lads have found a level of performance and consistency," said Keates.

"Questions were asked of all the players and they have answered their critics.

"You have to step up and they have stepped up.

"You have to take the rough with the smooth but they will get confidence from Saturday.

"But we have to go and replicate what we have done in these two games against Dagenham.

"The club shouldn't be where it is, we are trying to rectify that and taking steps forward.

"But they aren't going to be massive steps, only little steps, and it was another one on Saturday."

Keates, who saw Wrexham start December with two successive wins before a spell of inconsistency, is not getting carried away and says the Reds cannot rest on their laurels in the fight against relegation.

"That is two great results back to back and two clean sheets," added Keates.

"But we have been here before; we got two decent results against Eastleigh and Solihull.

"Next week at home is massive. The performance that we did against Woking and the performance that we did at Harrogate has to be made at home to Dagenham."