DEAN KEATES has defended his decision to allow two strikers to leave Wrexham before the January transfer window closed with the Reds boss short of attacking options for the run-in.

The arrival of Dior Angus gave Keates four experienced frontmen, with Kwame Thomas, Adi Yussuf and Jordan Ponticelli already at The Racecourse, so first year pro Jake Bickerstaff was allowed to join Caernarfon on loan until the end of the season.

But National League rivals Chesterfield expressed an interest in Yussuf, who was on loan at Wrexham from Blackpool, on deadline day and he completed his switch after Keates saw two deals for replacements fall through.

Wrexham have got by with three strikers since then but Thomas last week ruptured his left Achilles' in training and is out for six to nine months while Ponticelli's stop-start season continued as he limped off with another hamstring injury in Friday's 1-0 defeat to play-off rivals Notts County.

That left Keates with just one recognised striker in Angus for Monday's 1-0 defeat against Torquay which meant the Reds dropped out of the top-seven.

But the Reds' boss, hoping to bolster his strikeforce before Saturday's home match with Stockport County, stands by his actions.

"Hindsight is an amazing thing," said Keates.

"Jake was fifth choice striker at the time and it was about his development for this football club to go forward so it was best for him to go and get games, and we made that decision.

"On the way down to Eastleigh, I got a phone call about 4pm to be made aware of interest in Adi.

"I spoke with the powers that be back at the football club and we were actively looking for another striker; it was a case of if I could get somebody else in then I would consider it.

"The message had been relayed to Adi through his agent and he asked if he could get off the coach in Oxford. It was something I considered just in case it happened.

"We were not a million miles from getting somebody else in ourselves. I thought we had an under 23s player from a Premier League team but that got retracted at the last minute.

"Then we went for a player at a League Two team and we were optimistic; they said we can make it happen if we get our replacement in.

"We thought it was going to happen; they were confident they would get theirs in and then they pulled the plug.

"I had an agreement with Adi that he would stay at the services but when he called me with an hour-and-a-half left of the transfer window and he told me he was at Chesterfield, I had a decision to make.

"That told me his mind was made-up and he wanted to be at Chesterfield. I had to think about my group, my changing room, and how his mindset would have been inside there.

"He said he was out of contract at the end of the season, he has got a young family, and I had to treat him like a human being. If he is not happy at this football club and he didn't get the move, it was all about whether his mindset would have been right in our group."