FORMER Liverpool manager Roy Evans admits Wrexham have a battle on their hands to avoid relegation this season, but he also believes that new boss Brian Carey has what it takes to win through.
The Dragons have yet to secure a victory from the eight games since the big Irishman replaced Denis Smith with the result that 58-year-old Evans has taken on an advisory role in a bid to halt the slide towards the Nationwide Conference.
With time on his hands before resuming his part-time role as assistant to Wales manager John Toshack next month, the ex-Anfield boss was in the dressing room for the last two matches against Chester City and Grimsby Town.
And he claimed there was no shortage of morale or spirit among the players, despite the manner of a 2-1defeat at Blundell Park when the Mariners’ winner came in the third minute of added time.
“When a club is down at the bottom it’s a difficult job but the spirit in the camp is good,” he said yesterday.
“Brian has started his new career in the right way and he has the right principles, but no matter how good a coach you are, sometimes all that is needed is a bit of luck to set you on your way.
“It’s clear to see Brian has the confidence of the players and that is an important part of the job, especially when results are hard to come by, so he has done okay so far in what are very tough circumstances.”
Tuesday’s Grimsby defeat saw Wrexham slip back into the relegation zone, swapping places with fellow strugglers Boston United, and Evans believes several other clubs also have cause for concern.
“The good thing from Wrexham’s point of view is that six or seven clubs are embroiled in the same fight, so that a win at any stage can lift you out of it,” he added.
“And any club that can string together a little run at the moment could get right out of danger.
“Confidence will play a big part and relegation battles not only sap confidence, they also sap energy. But from what I’ve seen so far in the Wrexham dressing room the spirit is excellent and they just need a rub of the green during a game, whether it’s a fluke goal or something else to go their way.
“Wrexham have been missing two or three key players for much of the season, which is a major handicap to a small squad. But with the likes of Mark Jones and Neil Roberts back from injury, together with the introduction of Jeff Whitley, there are grounds for optimism.”
Evans insisted he would not interfere with Carey’s running of the club, saying: “I am there merely for him to talk to when he feels the need.
“If there is any way I can help, I will be available but Brian is the manager and he has his own staff, so he will still be picking the team and deciding how they play.
“That’s how it should be and Brian knows better than anyone that it’s results by which he will be judged.
“There is pressure on the players but he and his staff have to take it off them as much as possible.
“Against Grimsby the other night I thought Wrexham were by far the better side in the first half until they conceded an equaliser in the final minute of the first half.
“And no matter what you say or do as a coach, that can happen sometimes, but there has been no problem in getting the lads up for the two games I’ve seen and I’m sure it will be the same again in the dressing room for Sunday’s game against Shrewsbury.”