GARY BENNETT wants Wrexham to come flying out of the blocks when his former club kick-off a 15th season in non-league.

The Reds’ promotion dream came to an end on Saturday following a heartbreaking 5-4 defeat against Grimsby Town in the play-off semi-final at The Racecourse.

After making a slow start to the campaign, Wrexham were one of the division’s in-form teams following the turn of the year and took the title race down to the final round of fixtures before finishing runners-up behind champions Stockport County.

Wrexham legend Bennett wants his former club to recapture that form from the start when the 2022-23 National League season kicks off on Saturday August 6.

“We have got to hit the ground running next season,” said Bennett.

“We got off to a sluggish start this season and with only one team going up, we have got to make sure we start off like we did at the back end of the season.

“You can’t afford to get off to a sluggish start or flat patches, you have got to hit the ground running.”

Poor defending proved to be Wrexham’s downfall in the knockout game with Grimsby scoring the winner with one minute left in extra-time.

“I am not going to tell Phil Parkinson his job because he has done a great job,” said Bennett.

“He will know it needs a little bit of tinkering and maybe we need to bring a midfielder in and sort it out at the back because some of the goals we conceded against Grimsby were poor.

“It was poor defending but I will put all that down to the game being what it was - a one-off semi-final, full-house at The Racecourse.

“It was just one of those mad games that every now and again you are involved in, it was just unfortunate we were on the wrong end of it.”

Bennett added: “With the team we have got we are always going to score goals.

“A play-off semi-final, the game was unreal - you don’t expect 5-4.

“End-to-end, lots of goals and the referee’s performance left a lot to be desired.

“There were some strange decisions, even the late goal that Grimsby scored he was marking the pitch to get the yards from throwing the ball - I have never seen that in all my time watching football, it was bizarre."

Bennett expected Grimsby, who beat Notts County 2-1 after extra-time in the play-off eliminator last Monday, to fade when the clash with Wrexham finished 4-4 inside 90 minutes.

"That is football, it is small margins. Unluckily it didn't fall for us," said Bennett.

"Respect to Grimsby they played Monday and we had a week off, when we went to extra-time I thought they would tire but they didn't, they kept going to the end.

"Good luck to Grimsby but from a Wrexham point of view, absolutely devastated."