MANNY SMITH stressed the importance of Wrexham making the most of their game in hand by leaving  his former club Gateshead with three points.

Wrexham go into tonight’s clash at The International Stadium sitting third in the National League, four points behind leaders Macclesfield Town.

Although they are within touching distance of top spot, Wrexham are also only two points ahead of eighth-placed Boreham Wood, the side immediately outside the play-offs.

Smith is focussed on closing to within a point of Macclesfield but knows victory against the Heed will put distance between Wrexham and the chasing pack.

“It is a massive game for us,” said Smith. “We know we need to win games and we know we need to apply ourselves right.

“We have just got to play the game the way we play every other game, not rush and not go gung-ho.

“You want to win your game in hand and if we can win it puts pressure on the teams around us.”

Wrexham have 16 matches remaining as they attempt to close in on promotion and Smith says there is a belief in the Reds camp that they can achieve their goal.

“We have just got to concentrate on winning games and sticking together,” said Smith,

“Tick games off one by one and apply ourselves right and do what we know we are capable of.

“We believe we are a good team and we are up there for a reason but we have just got to take it one game at a time and not look too far ahead.”

Gateshead had been winless since November but two victories in their last three games has taken Steve Watson’s side up to 14th position.

Smith rejoined Wrexham last summer after one season with the Heed and the defender is expecting a tough encounter against his former club where ex-Reds Wes York, Russell Penn and Jamal Fyfield still play.

“Gateshead are a good team, they have picked up some wins lately so they are in a bit of form,” said Smith.

“But we are not a bad team away from home.

“I enjoyed my time at Gateshead. It is a well run, family club and there are some great people there.

“But we are going there to do a job. We have just got to put all that aside and concentrate on the game.”

Wrexham go into the game on the back of Saturday’s 2-2 draw against rivals Tranmere at a packed Racecourse.

And Smith felt a draw, which extended Wrexham’s unbeaten run to six games, was a fair result.

“You can see by the way we both applied ourselves to the game, it was two teams that wanted to pick up three points,” added Smith.

“We were a bit unlucky at times but a point isn’t a bad result.

“When they got a goal out of nowhere, it was good character from the boys to get one back and then go ahead.

“I don’t think it was a free-kick leading to their equaliser but it was a good ball in from their lad to make it 2-2.

“We just cancelled each other out, both teams had half chances, but I don’t think it is a bad point.”

There is one other National League game tonight with Halifax Town at home to Justin Edinburgh’s Leyton Orient.