DEAN KEATES insists Wrexham have made huge progress this season as the race for a play-off berth hots up in a crucial final month of the campaign.

Wrexham were sitting just above the relegation zone when the 2020-21 season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic with nine matches to go and the Reds just avoided the drop when the National League table was calculated using a ‘Points Per Game’ method.

Fast forward 12 months and Wrexham are battling to secure a top-seven finish and although there is still work to be done to clinch a play-off spot with seven games remaining, Keates is pleased the Reds have become promotion contenders following last season’s struggles.

"Have we made progress? Of course we have from last season," said Keates.

"My mandate at the beginning of this season was to make this football club competitive again and make us challenging.

"We are in there, it is where we finish.

"There have been ups and downs, a lack of consistency early on in the season but it was a complete new group.

"I believe in the changing room. We had to deal with a bit of adversity, a couple of injuries to important players and freshen it up with one or two new faces who are still finding their sharpness.

"This week gives us a chance to settle one or two down again, assess one or two knocks and all being well we will have a full group ready to go against Solihull."

Wrexham went into Saturday's game against play-off rivals Chesterfield on the back of two successive 4-0 wins away at Woking and Halifax which left the Reds fifth in the table.

A goalless draw with the Spireites meant Wrexham drop to seventh position but the competition for a top-seven finish is fierce with a number of teams in contention.

Wrexham continue their challenge on Saturday at home to Solihull who are not in the promotion mix but Keates won't be taking 15th placed Moors lightly after they thrashed Yeovil 5-1 at the weekend.

"They have got nothing to play for but they won 5-1 on Saturday so they will be coming here full of confidence," added Keates.

"It's a new game, we will plan and prep throughout the week and we will go out there and do our best for this football club, and get maximum points."