DEAN KEATES is close to having the fully fit squad that he believes is crucial in Wrexham's bid to climb the National League table.

The Reds go into tonight's home game against fellow strugglers Chesterfield sitting outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Although the match could come too soon for JJ Hooper and Mark Carrington, the duo are close to a return and Keates is boosted by the availability of goalkeeper Rob Lainton who made his first appearance of the season in Saturday's Scottish Challenge Cup win against St Mirren Colts after recovering from an ankle injury.

"We are not too far from being a fully fit squad," said Keates.

"You need competition. With a change in manager, players always get a lift anyway.

"The ones who have not been involved start seeing things different and everyone has got to be at it to keep themselves in the starting XI."

Keates used a mix of senior pros and youth team players for the cup game against St Mirren.

On-loan winger Ben Tollitt did his chances of a starting place tonight no harm with an impressive second half performance where he had two assists before scoring the fourth goal, and Keates hopes to build on the victory which booked Wrexham's place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

"It is momentum and a win is a win, it doesn't matter what competition it is or who it is against. You can only beat what is in front of you," said Keates.

"I wasn't impressed with the first half at all. Second half they upped it and it was a lot better so it is something to build on.

"Ben probably stood out in the second half.

"It was Ben's first 90 minutes of the season and Devonte Redmond was the same.

"It is getting players minutes and if they are needed, we know they are capable of doing the 90 minutes."

Wrexham and third bottom Chesterfield were both expected to challenge for promotion but find themselves struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Keates, who saw his side take the lead against Harrogate last Tuesday in his first game back in charge before conceding a late equaliser, is looking to string some wins together at The Racecourse so that Wrexham start to pull clear of trouble.

"We are both in the same situation," said Keates. "Not expected to be where we are and both need to get it addressed, and get further up the league.

"But we can only be concerned about ourselves and made sure we apply ourselves right.

"At home is where you look at picking up your points.

"It has to be three points at home; you go for three points away from home and if you draw, it is not too bad, but you have to make sure you win your home games.

"We were disappointed to drop points at home to Harrogate. I was disappointed we didn't put the game to bed.

"We had the opportunities and we got pushed back so it is something we need to look at and learn from, and we will be looking for three points against Chesterfield."

Wrexham also face the Spireites at The Proact Stadium on Saturday in their FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie but Keates is just focussed on tonight's league encounter and picking up a first league win since returning for a second term as Reds boss.

"We will deal with tonight first and then we will get ourselves ready for Saturday," added Keates.

"You are playing them back to back but it is two different games and we are looking to get three points tonight.

"Then what happens at the weekend happens at the weekend."