TERRY DARRACOTT is backing Wrexham to solve the defensive problems that saw them concede three goals from corner kicks during Tuesday night’s 3-3 draw with Northwich Victoria.
The club’s assistant manager, in temporary charge following the bereavement suffered by manager Dean Saunders, is expecting a positive backlash from the players in their third-round FA Trophy match at Workington tomorrow.
But the former Everton stalwart’s thoughts were also with Saunders, whose father Roy died in a Swansea hospital early yesterday morning. Saunders senior moved to South Wales after playing nearly 150 games for Liverpool during an 11-year stay at Anfield that ended in 1959.
“Obviously we extend the sympathies of everyone at Wrexham to Dean and his family at this time,” said Darracott. “We are all thinking about him, but we are also just getting on with the job and doing what we have to do.”
Wrexham are likely to be without captain Ashley Westwood for the trip to Cumbria as the central defender, missing on Tuesday due to suspension, is battling against time to recover from the calf strain he sustained against Cambridge United more than a week ago.
“He might be struggling for the cup game,” admitted Darracott. “But fortunately we have got a big enough squad if we are forced into making changes.
“To concede three from set-pieces was disappointing. We have spoken to the players about what went wrong and we have worked on it this morning. Hopefully they will respond positively on Saturday and I’m sure that will be the case.”
Darracott’s optimism was echoed by defender Mike Williams, who claimed it was difficult to pinpoint a reason for the sloppy defensive errors.
“In recent weeks we have been pretty solid at the back and we have rarely let in more than a goal a game,” said Williams.
“And on Tuesday night, we defended pretty well in open play to the extent that I don’t think our keeper had a save to make.
“To concede one from a corner, as we did at Torquay United, was bad enough so you can imagine how we felt about three.
“The fact is that all the players are given a man to mark and a job to do. But that didn’t happen, which was extremely disappointing. After going 1-0 down, we got back into a 2-1 lead with 10 minutes to go and I thought then we’d see it out for what would have been a good win that would have pushed us up the table.”
Admitting that Tuesday’s draw had cost the Dragons two much-needed points, Williams added: “In some ways it’s a pity that we don’t have a league game on Saturday because we want to get back to winning ways, put together the sort of run we enjoyed when the gaffer first came in, and cement a place in the play-off spots.
“Having said that, the reward for going all the way in the Trophy is a Wembley final and hopefully we can make up for our midweek disappointment at the weekend.”
It’s not yet clear whether Saunders plans to attend tomorrow’s game at Borough Park, but Darracott said the pair had been in constant touch by telephone to discuss a raft of issues, including the possibility of strengthening the Racecourse squad before the transfer window closes on Monday evening.
“Dean’s absence has made absolutely no difference to our plans,” added Darracott. “It’s my job as assistant manager to step in and assume responsibility in this situation and myself and Brian (Carey) have been making the calls.
“Nothing has happened as yet, but there could well be players coming in before Monday.”
Meanwhile, full-back Carl Tremarco yesterday joined League Two outfit Darlington on loan for a month.