THE promotion challenge is faltering but Dixie McNeil believes Wrexham will clinch a play-off spot.

Bryan Hughes' side have lost four of their last five league games and are fourth in the National League with five games remaining.

The run-in continues with today's clash against Braintree, who have already been relegated, at The Racecourse.

Although he is confident Wrexham will extend their season, McNeil says the Reds need to try and end with five wins to finish as high as possible.

"You have got to play till the end," said McNeil.

"There are five games left and we need to be looking to take 15 points.

"If we don't go up, you want to try and finish second or third to miss one game and have a semi-final at home.

"I still think we will definitely be in the play-offs, the top seven has practically sorted itself out but I am not sure who will win the league.

"No-one has pulled clear and other teams have been out of form as well."

Wrexham are five points behind leaders Orient, who also have a game in hand, and with competition fierce for top spot McNeil insists it is no foregone conclusion that the O's will win the league.

"As daft as it may sound, with the games we have got left we could still win the league," said McNeil.

"Only one team in the top six won on Saturday and no-one is running away with it.

"Orient are top and have got a game in hand but you never know in this league."

Braintree were the first team to be relegated last weekend despite beating Gateshead 2-0 as other results went against them and McNeil feels it is a good chance to get the promotion push back on track.

"As a player you play to win every game and what better chance than Braintree," said McNeil.

"It is a good chance to launch yourselves into the last five games with a win to try and get 15 points or as many as you can.

"It is still important to finish as high as possible and I think we are as good as anybody on our day."

But McNeil knows the Iron will have a 'nothing to lose' mentality with their fate now sealed.

"It won't be an easy game," said McNeil. "Braintree might be down but it is a chance to come to Wrexham, play in front of a 5,000 crowd and show what they can do.

"With Wrexham's situation, you couldn't wish for an easier game but also you couldn't wish for a harder game."

McNeil says the key to getting back to winning ways is Wrexham taking the initiative and offering more of an attacking threat.

"I think we should play more attacking football, we don't score enough goals," said McNeil.

"We have got to be on the front foot against Braintree."

Wrexham have suffered play-off heartbreak on four occasions, the first time under McNeil when the Reds reached the two-legged Division Four final against Orient in 1988-89.

The first game ended in a goalless draw but Wrexham were on course for promotion on the away goals rule thanks to Jon Bowden's equaliser at Brisbane Road until the O's struck late on to secure a 2-1 win.

"We sneaked in the last game of the season to get the last play-off spot," added McNeil.

"We beat Scunthorpe over two legs in the semi-finals and lost to Orient in the final.

"Let's just say I never spoke to anybody for about three-and-a-half hour after the game finished!

"That's the down side of the play-offs.

"It is great to get into the play-offs if you don't win the league, it is a way of going up."