NEW Wrexham goalkeeper Gavin Ward believes a lack of confidence rather than a lack of ability is the root cause of the Dragons’ ongoing battle for Football League survival.
And the 37-year old veteran – one of five arrivals since the transfer window opened at the beginning of the month – admits he is mystified by the perilous situation in which the club finds itself with more than half the campaign completed.
He said: “I’ve been here little more than a week, but from what I have seen the quality in the squad is without doubt more than enough to be happy with, which makes me question just why we are in the position that we find ourselves.
“Most of it has to be down to confidence, or how fragile that can be when things are going badly. If confidence is low and a team concedes a goal it is can have an effect on players collectively, whereas a confident side that concedes a goal simply takes it on the chin and goes out to score two.
“It’s a state of mind and we have to adopt the mentality to go into matches determined to have a right good go at the opposition. Given the position we are in there is no point in taking to the field and feeling nervous about what might happen.
“If at the end of the match you have been beaten by a better side, you hold your hands up, but there is no disgrace in that and we have people in the dressing room who are better than our results suggest.”
Ward, who made his Dragons debut in a narrow 1-0 defeat at Grimsby Town last weekend, said he hoped his arrival and that of fellow first-timers Paul Hall and Danny Sonner, would provide the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes.
“From what I’ve been told it was a much better performance at Grimsby than of late,” he added.
“And that’s often the case when a few new people come in and freshen up the dressing room.
“I felt we did okay last Saturday and probably should have got at least a draw, but we can’t be happy with the goal they scored.
“But to say it should have been sorted out is a bit like closing the door after the horse has bolted because we ended up on the losing side again.
“But there is no point on dwelling on that and we have to go again, starting with Saturday’s game against MK Dons.”
The visiting Dons, who lead the table by eight points despite suffering a rare home defeat at the hands of Barnet last weekend, will be the overwhelming favourites tomorrow, but Ward maintained there was no such thing as a lost cause.
“It’s going to be tough, of course, because they are not top of the table for nothing,” added the former Tranmere shot-stopper.
“I have seen them a couple of times this season and they are a decent side with some good players.
“But there is no outstanding team in this division so there is absolutely no reason why we can’t get something from the game.”
Calling on his team-mates to dig deep against Paul Ince’s side, Ward added: “I don’t want to be at the bottom of the table and nor do any of the other lads because we don’t want to be playing in the Blue Square Premiership next season.
“Obviously we’d rather be at the other end of the league table but we have to show the fans that we deserve better and that we can justify our belief that we are good players.
“No-one else will do that for us and the sooner we all realise that the better off we’ll be.”