WREXHAM manager Dean Saunders is optimistic that goal-scoring winger Jon Brown will remain at the Racecourse for the remainder of the season.
The Cardiff City teenager is nearing the end of a second month on loan with the Dragons and appears keen to continue at the Racecourse.
Saunders confirmed yesterday he had already spoken to his Bluebirds’ counterpart Dave Jones about keeping the youngster.
“I’ve had discussions with Dave Jones and it looks like we are going to keep Jon until the end of the season, which will be great news for everyone,” said Saunders.
“He’s scored three goals for us and could have scored another three as well, but the key thing about Jon is that his attitude is right.
“The best thing he did against Cambridge the other night was not his goal or the shot that hit the bar, but the determination he showed in the second half.
“He put a cross into their penalty area which was cleared, so Jon then sprinted all the way back to our end of the pitch to stop their cross going in. That’s the type of player I want in my team.”
Brown is clearly enjoying his time at the North Wales club, saying: “I love it here. I think the manager wants me to stay until the end of the season. I’m learning loads off the players and the manager.”
Saunders feels Brown’s energy, concentration levels and commitment are attributes shared by several of the younger players he has recruited since his appointment last October.
“He has a lot to learn and he’s trying to absorb everything in a short space of time. We are trying to teach all of the players at the same time as we are trying to get promotion. That’s the tricky part of the job.
“They have to learn how to improve and how to win games at the same time. Young players make mistakes and we are trying to put old heads on young shoulders, which takes time. But we are getting there.”
The Dragons’ boss hailed Thursday night’s 2-0 win over promotion rivals Cambridge United – their first against a side ahead of them in the Blue Square Premier table – as significant.
Brown opened the scoring before Jefferson Louis struck in the second half to confirm the three points.
“If you can’t play yourselves you have to stop the opposition playing well and no side is going to come here and let us play because they know we are a good team,” Saunders added.
“We have sent the message out that a point at the Racecourse is a good result and everyone knows we have a young side.
“But they have got it wrong if they believe our young lads can be bullied because that’s not the case.
“We have some young boys who are tough characters and the two lads in midfield, Andy Fleming and Nathan Fairhurst, won the battle for us.
“They won the majority of the balls that dropped in there and the two wide men worked their socks off so the back four were never really ripped to pieces.
“The protection they had in front of them was great and there were no silly mistakes, such as we made against Woking and Torquay.
“Those mistakes cost us the win on both occasions but as long as we can avoid similar problems we will be fine.
“We knew we needed three points against Cambridge and the attitude was spot-on.
“Right from the start we were on the mark and it proves we can beat the better sides because they are as good as anyone in the league.
“It demonstrates that what is out there is beatable in every game if we go into it with the right attitude. We stopped Cambridge getting three points and we stopped Torquay getting three points.”
Scorer Brown said: “In the first 20 minutes we struggled a bit to get into the game, so my goal came at the right time. It settled us down and we started passing the ball around and looking more comfortable.”
Having closed to within a point of the play-off places and approaching a run of three league games against struggling Northwich Victoria, Lewes and Grays Athletic, Saunders said: “We’ve got the games in hand to win now.”
“But that’s easier said than done, so we must have the same approach against sides that are not near the top of the table.”