LUKE SUMMERFIELD will always look back on Wrexham’s 2019/20 National League season and wonder ‘what if?’

The Reds headed into the campaign full of confidence having added creativity and firepower to a squad that had reached the play-offs last season, losing in the eliminator to Eastleigh after extra-time.

Leyton Orient won the title and Salford escaped via the play-offs, meaning two of the league’s big-hitters had departed and Wrexham were third favourites for promotion behind Chesterfield and Notts County.

But things quickly turned sour for the Reds under Bryan Hughes, who was replaced by the returning Dean Keates two months into the campaign with Wrexham struggling.

Midfielder Summerfield, out of contract at The Racecourse this summer, feels that Wrexham may have missed a trick in their quest to return to the Football League.

“Things were obviously better last year than they were this year,” reflected Summerfield, signed by Sam Ricketts ahead of the 2018/19 season.

“If you compare the league last season to this season, if we’d played half as well as we did last season then we’d have run away with it.

“There is quality in the division this season, but everyone seems closer to each other in terms of ability.”

Rather than run away with the top-tier of non league football, Wrexham came ominously close to exiting via the trapdoor, the Reds slumping to the foot of the division at the midway stage.

The returning Keates was able to turn the ship around, leading Wrexham out of the bottom four when time was called on the campaign with just under 10 games left.

While a number of Summerfield’s team-mates had played under Keates during his previous rein, it was a new experience for the 32-year-old.

“Every manager is different,” said Summerfield. “No two managers are the same, whether they’ve had success or not.

“It was difficult for the manager to come in when he did because of the situation we were in, but he had this positivity about him.

“He galvanised us as a squad in order to get us out of trouble and he managed to do just that, which is a positive.

“He got us playing how he wanted us to play and we started to become a bit more consistent.

“From the situation we were in, it’s a positive that we were able to avoid relegation and the gaffer can now use that positivity, however small, to build the club back up going forward.”

Summerfield is certainly in a position to talk about the impact of managers on Wrexham given that he’s had five in one shape or form during two years in north Wales.

Ricketts left for Shrewsbury and was replaced by Graham Barrow and then Hughes took charge, before Brian Flynn took caretaker charge for three games prior to Keates returning to The Racecourse.

“When I joined I definitely didn’t expect to have five managers in two seasons,” said Summerfield. “But that’s football. Things change quickly and you have to be ready for whatever comes your way.

“In football there is always next season and the gaffer will be doing what he can to get the club back challenging at the top end of the league.”