THE impending return to training of Wrexham trio Kyle Critchell, Andrew Fleming and Simon Spender has not prevented manager Dean Saunders from continuing his search for fresh talent.
Striker Kieron St Aimie, whose two goals for Gray’s Athletic against the Dragons earlier in the season helped hasten the departure of former Racecourse boss Brian Little, is returning for a second trial spell this week alongside youngster Jake Richardson, son of former Everton midfielder Kevin.
Both are expected to feature in a friendly against an Accrington Stanley XI at Colliers Park today and Saunders, who already has a 34-strong squad, admitted the time had come for a review.
“With Kyle, ‘Spends’ and Fleming all getting close to leaving the treatment room we will have to weigh up the situation,” he said yesterday.
“It’s something we will be having a chat about this week, particularly with regard to the loan signings, but we are still looking at players and a couple will have a run out in the morning.”
The Dragons’ boss, who has already signed Ashley Westwood and Patrick Suffo, also has three loan players in Ritchie De Laet, Nathan Woolfe and Nathan Fairhurst, although he revealed that Stoke City full-back De Laet will be returning to his parent club next Monday to undergo groin surgery.
Despite the problem, De Laet featured in Wrexham’s 1-0 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers last Saturday, only to sustain an ankle injury, but Saunders is backing the player to declare himself available for a farewell appearance at Stevenage Borough this coming Saturday.
“I can’t praise the lad highly enough,” added the Racecourse boss. “Even though he’s had this problem for a while, he wanted to play last Saturday and he’ll probably do the same as well this weekend.
“He can’t do any more damage to his injury, but there are not many players who would want to play knowing they have an operation booked for next Monday. He is not 100% fit so it’s a great attitude and Ritchie typifies the sort of spirit I want from my players.”
Saturday’s loss at Aggborough ended Wrexham’s five-match winning streak, but the home side were saved by the woodwork on three occasions and had to withstand a second-half barrage.
Having reviewed a video of the match, Saunders said: “In the last 15 minutes nine of our players had a shot on goal – only the keeper and Neil Taylor didn’t – and I can’t believe we didn’t score at least one goal.
“But if we can keep playing like that I know we will win more games than we lose, so that’s what we have to be aiming for. We had won five on the bounce and I hadn’t seen any reason why we could not have got to 25.
“With more performances like Saturday’s and an even break of the ball along the way there are not many teams in this league that will beat us.”
Saunders welcomed the news that Wrexham have been drawn at home to Blue Square Premier rivals Mansfield Town in the first round of the FA Trophy.
The tie on December 13 means the Dragons will be playing at the Racecourse on three successive weekends next month with the Trophy clash sandwiched between the league visits of Kettering Town and Eastbourne Borough.
Wrexham recently beat Mansfield 2-1 and the Dragons boss said: “It will be a difficult game, but at least we have home advantage.
“At the moment, though, that match is a long way from my mind because I am only thinking about Saturday’s visit to Stevenage.”
Martin Foyle, who was Brian Little’s assistant boss until their departure from the Racecourse last month, was yesterday named manager of Blue Square Premier side York City. He will be assisted by the Minstermen’s former youth coach, Neil Redfearn.