DEAN KEATES believes Wrexham’s promotion challenge has gone up a level now his squad has strength in depth.

Wrexham began the campaign with a small squad but the Reds have emerged as promotion challengers and go into tomorrow’s home game against Halifax Town as National League leaders.

There are 14 games to go and Keates has given the title bid a boost by signing five players since the turn of the year.

Fleetwood loanee Akil Wright has made the permanent switch while Scott Quigley, David Raven, Nicky Deverdics and Jonathan Franks have also arrived at The Racecourse, giving Keates more bodies for the run-in.

“We only went with 17-18 at the start of the season and it got us into a good position,” said Keates.

“The ‘Build the Budget’ fund has made a difference; there has been a bit more money to go again in January, I was able to put an undisclosed offer in for Devs, and I have added bodies.

“There were lots of names circulated but I only wanted players who can push players in the team and challenge to get their places.

“We have got the strength in depth now to go into the next 14 games and give us a chance.”

Keates has welcomed the competition for places and admits there will be some disappointed faces when Wrexham target another win against Halifax.

“There are going to be lads upset not in the starting XI, not in the 16, but that is for me to deal with,” added Keates.

“All they can do is their side and that is keep training the way they have done Monday to Friday, and if everybody is at it, it gives me the headache.

“We have got options now, it is competitive and we have got strength in depth.

“We have to go out and make every game about us and what our strengths are and all being well we can go and win against Halifax.”