DEAN KEATES believes the current state of play proves football is nothing without fans - and he’s glad Wrexham have some of the very best.

The return of the Premier League behind-closed-doors has been met with mixed reviews, while Championship football and the League Two play-offs are also back up and running.

Some sides have visibly struggled to cope without the backing of their fans, and Keates has been an interested onlooker.

“Football is nothing without fans,” declared Reds boss Keates, who doesn’t expect the return of football at National League level until it’s safe for fans to attend matches.

“We’re all watching games and there’s no atmosphere, nothing.

“A lot of players need to feed off the crowd. Do players find an extra 10 or 15 per cent when they are being roared on from fans on the terraces?

“It seems to make players run faster and work harder. It really can be like a 12th man to teams and I think that’s what people are finding out.

“Most games at the moment are like a half pitch practice where one team attacks and the other goes into a low block, before they break and the roles are reversed.

“It’s still early in their return to playing after a long break and it might be a case of them showing what they are really capable of on the final week, or over the final couple of weeks, before the season comes to an end.”

When football can return at National League level, Keates is striving to give Wrexham fans a team to throw their complete support behind.

“When this football club is flying then it’s not a good place for opposition teams to come,” said Keates. “It’s something I want to get across to the playing group when we return.

“If we aren’t at the required standards then players come and they raise their game, there’s no denying that, because it’s a great stadium and a great surface for them to play on.

“Not many players at our level play in-front of between 4,500-6,000 fans on a regular basis.

“It’s up to us to get our fans behind us and making life difficult for the opposition when we return to action.”

Wrexham fans have certainly thrown their support behind the club’s Unite To Save The Town scheme, which has raised over £28,000 since it was launched late last month.

“It’s unbelievable what the fans have done and what they continue to do,” said Keates.

“We’ve been here before asking the fans to help and what they continue to do for us is great.

“We need to make sure that what we produce on the pitch when we return to playing gives the fans a reason to be behind us and be that 12th man.

“When the club is fighting for promotion then the atmosphere is difficult for away teams to play in.”