SHAUN PEARSON says Wrexham's incoming manager must focus on staying up rather than challenging for promotion.

Bryan Hughes was sacked on Wednesday with the Reds in the National League relegation zone and winless in eight games following a woeful start to a 12th season in the fifth tier.

Former boss Dean Keates and Connah's Quay Nomads chief Andy Morrison are among the names linked with the Racecourse vacancy.

But whoever takes charge, Pearson, preparing for today's home game against fellow strugglers Ebbsfleet United, says the new manager and the current players are under no illusion about the situation that the fourth bottom Reds - three points away from safety - find themselves in.

"If we can get a win today maybe we can start to look a bit more upwards," said Pearson.

"We just need to make sure we get three points on the board as soon as possible and get ourselves out of the bottom four first and foremost.

"There is a long way to go but we have to stop talking about the top end of the division and concentrate on getting out of the bottom four, get clear so we are not having to worry about that.

"Once we have done that, then we can start looking towards the top end and think 'can we get ourselves back in the mix with the top teams'?"