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DEAR Denis, One game to go. Relegation already confirmed. I thought I'd just remind you of what you said when you arrived in North Wales in October.

DEAR Denis,

One game to go. Relegation already confirmed. I thought I'd just remind you of what you said when you arrived in North Wales in October. These are your exact words:

"My immediate objective is to start winning games - and then go on to keeping us up. We want to get more people coming through the turnstiles and the way to do that is through improving the team and playing winning football.

"I've been in football for more years than I care to remember, so I do know most of the players here. The two strikers look not too bad and we have two back-up forwards, so that doesn't look too bad. Defensively we look a bit young and a bit naïve at the moment, and that's something to work on.

"As for bringing new players in, well I'm not letting any secrets slip by saying that the financial situation means there is little money about, so what I've got to do is either generate it or use my contacts."

You were admirably realistic in what you said back then - the naivety at the back, the problem with attendances, the club's finances - but the bottom line, I'm afraid, is that you failed in your number one goal: to keep us up.

It would be harsh to blame you for relegation - the players plus Messrs Flynn and Griffiths are also culpable - but I'm sure you'll be very disappointed that, in the end, after almost a full season in charge, you weren't able to steer the team out of the drop zone.

But you've still got the majority of fans on your side - mainly because you've come across as an honest, straight-talking guy and you've done almost everything in your powers to turn the tide.

You've brought players in - Hill, Rovde, Bennett, Jones - and, as a former central defender yourself, you've definitely aided the development of Roberts, Lawrence and Pejic.

I also like the way in which you've rotated things upfront. You are not sentimentally attached to Trundle and Edwards in the same way Flynn was - and this, in my view, has been another positive. And with Sam and Morrell, you've certainly persevered, and gained your reward on occasions.

That said, I do think you have made a few mistakes. Your loyalty to Ferguson is commendable - but I don't think he deserves to be an automatic pick anymore.

I feel you should have brought in an experienced keeper much sooner (pre-Christmas rather than post-Christmas) and also played Whitley as a midfielder rather than a full-back (where he could have exerted much more influence on the side).

And as you start to think about the retained list, please let me mark your card. Morrell is worth a new contract (no player has a better attitude) and so is Gibson (no player has a bigger heart).

But, I don't think it's sensible to keep both Rogers and Walsh and, as regards the Chalk-Phillips-Barrett situation, I would re-employ only one out of the three, and I would probably go for the youngest (Barrett).

I don't think there's room for Blackwood and Edwards in a Division Three squad, so, with the Trinidadian safe for another season, it might be the ex-Villa man who has to go.

One last thing: aim for the top next season!

Yours sincerely

Pete Davies


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