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Smith Stands up for dragons

WREXHAM manager Denis Smith refused to criticise his players after watching them concede a 2-0 lead for the second match in a row at Bury on Tuesday night.

WREXHAM manager Denis Smith refused to criticise his players after watching them concede a 2-0 lead for the second match in a row at Bury on Tuesday night.

Two goals from Hector Sam in the opening 20 minutes provided another opportunity for the Dragons to boost their second division survival bid but the home side snatched a draw with replies from George Clegg and Ian Lawson, whose equaliser came four minutes from time.

On Saturday at the Racecourse, Wrexham had been in a similar situation, allowing Swindon Town to come back and claim a share of the spoils, but Smith said: "We looked capable of beating Bury and, although we didn't achieve it, I can't have a go at them. What have they done wrong except not to win the game? I don't think it's a sin and I don't think I could have asked any more from them.

"They are absolutely devastated because they know they should be sitting there with six points from the last two games. We've been saying this for the past two months but at least we're looking as though we are going to score again.

"I'm not going to have a go at the lads because they've worked as hard as they can. They've produced another good performance at what is a difficult place to come and get a result."

Smith directed his displeasure at one of the assistant referees, who gave several dubious offside decisions during the second half at Gigg Lane against Wrexham striker, Craig Faulconbridge.

"What we had to do was to hit them on the break and, for the first time in a long time, I'm going to have a go at an official because their best defender in the second half was the linesman," he added.

"Craig Faulconbridge's runs were superb but he must have been given offside nearly every time. Because of the way they were playing it suited them to have that linesman.

"I thought we were always going to score in the second half every time we caught them on the break. But I hadn't accounted for the way the game was officiated."

Deep down, though, Smith accepted that successful sides make their own good fortune. "A 2-0 scoreline is never enough, anyone who has been in football for a long time knows that, but we could do with a bit of luck," he said.

"Their first goal took a deflection and the second hit the underside of the bar before going in. That's the way things are going for us at the moment.

"Generally now we are producing good attractive football, what we are not doing yet is winning the games we would like to. But we are looking capable of doing that."

Wrexham were without the injured Jim Whitley, Steve Roberts and Lee Trundle and Smith added: "It's disappointing to have the injuries we've had, especially at this time. Sometimes it's better to be a lucky manager rather than a good one. We need a bit of luck at the moment and I think we deserve it the way we've been playing."

And the Dragons' boss had a word of praise for the near 500 fans who travelled to Lancashire. "I think we are down to the bare bones, to the faithful, anyway. They know we are not lying down and it was a brilliant turnout."

But he added: "Whether we like it or not though, unless we produce what the fans want, which is a winning team, we aren't going to please them all. They will put up with most things as long as you win."


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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