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Guessing game

WREXHAM manager Denis Smith admits he is struggling to pick a team for tonight's trip to Bury without up to seven players unavailable for selection.

WREXHAM manager Denis Smith admits he is struggling to pick a team for tonight's trip to Bury without up to seven players unavailable for selection.

Defenders Jim Whitley and Steve Roberts, together with striker Lee Trundle, are the casualties from Saturday's 2-2 draw with Swindon Town, who yesterday joined Robin Gibson and Andy Morrell in the treatment room.

And the Dragons' boss cannot call upon the services of either Kevin Sharp, who resumed training only yesterday following a five-match lay-off, or Paul Barrett, who is ill.

A groin strain means rightback Whitley has no chance of playing at Gigg Lane and there will be fitness tests this morning for Trundle, who hurt his ankle, and Roberts, who has a bruised foot.

"I don't really have a clue about who will play," admitted Smith.

"We'll have to wait and see how the walking wounded are in the morning before we can make any firm decisions.

"It's very frustrating because I felt we played reasonably well on Saturday and I hadn't been planning on making any major changes."

Trinidad international Denis Lawrence is the obvious replacement if Roberts is ruled out and Michael Blackwood is on stand-by to take over from Trundle, but the right-back spot will give Smith an unwanted headache.

"We've got Adrian Moody who can come in, there's Wayne Phillips, who dropped back there when Jim came off on Saturday, and there's Dave Warren," he said.

"I don't really think Dave is a right-back but it's a decision we'll make when we find out exactly who is fit to play."

The Dragons' boss will be particularly disappointed if Trundle does not play after heaping praise on the striker, who was given an unaccustomed role on the left flank at the weekend.

"With Craig coming back to play through the centre, I felt Lee could do a similar job to Michael Blackwood on the left," said Smith. "Obviously, Lee prefers to play down the middle but he looks natural on the left and it worked well on Saturday.

"He can do his tricks, he's got a great left foot, he can run at players and the quality of his delivery is good. He opened things up for us on a few occasions against Swindon so I hope he will be okay for tomorrow."

Wrexham will parade new goalkeeper Marius Rovde for the first time tonight and Smith will be hoping his experience can bring some stability and strength at the back, to say nothing of taking youngsters Kristian Rogers and David Walsh out of the firing line.

"As it happens, I thought Kristian did ever so well on Saturday," added Smith. "Possibly he felt there was no pressure because he knew Marius was coming in, or perhaps it was the pressure of fighting for his place that made him play so well.

"But Marius gives us that extra bit of experience, and he is a good talker. Funnily enough, David is a better talker than Kristian and if we could mix and match the best of them we would have a world-class goalkeeper."

While Wrexham will have to be at their best in defence, Smith also wants his other departments to be firing on all cylinders this evening.

"Hopefully, Marius will give us a boost but what we also have to do is to take our chances," he said. "We created eight great opportunities on Saturday but we converted only two of them into goals. That is not a good enough ratio and it's something we need to improve upon."

WREXHAM (from): Rovde; Phillips, Roberts, Carey, Holmes, Sam, Phillips, Ferguson, Thomas, Faulconbridge, Trundle, Blackwood, Lawrence, Moody, Chalk, Rogers, Edwards, Warren...SUPL:


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