WREXHAM have been warned against complacency as they prepare to take on Blue Square Premier strugglers Northwich Victoria at the Racecourse this evening.
Without a league win since last October and beset by problems off the field, the Vics are bottom of the table and embroiled in a relegation battle.
But Wrexham assistant manager Terry Darracott stressed it would be foolish to underestimate the Cheshire club or their manager Steve King, who last week signed three new players in a bid to halt the slump.
Darracott, standing in for Racecourse boss Dean Saunders, who spent yesterday in Swansea at the bedside of his seriously ill father, said: “We can’t take anything for granted and we certainly don’t expect our players to take their foot off the gas, regardless of the opposition.”
Looking to boost their play-off ambitions following last Thursday’s 2-0 home win against promotion rivals Cambridge United, the Dragons will be without captain and defensive lynchpin Ashley Westwood, who is suspended after collecting five bookings.
The likely replacement is Steve Evans, whose last outing was against Basingstoke in the FA Trophy, but Darracott would not be drawn.
“A change has been forced upon us and Steve is the obvious option, but we won’t pick the team until tomorrow,” he said.
“Ashley and Mike Williams have formed a good partnership, but you always have to be prepared for things like this.
“That’s why we keep telling all the players that they have to be ready to step in, that they have to train properly and be ready.
“There is nothing more certain than the fact that we will have to make changes along the way, and for the players coming in it is an opportunity to impress and the possibility that they will then keep their place in the side.”
Wrexham will also be without Simon Spender and Steve Abbott, who are both nursing dead leg injuries, but otherwise Darracott reported a clean bill of health.
New recruit Christian Gyan, the former Feyenoord and Ghana international, is awaiting international clearance, but is hoping to be in contention for a debut in Saturday’s FA Trophy match at Workington.
The 30-year-old Uefa Cup winner confirmed he was looking forward to helping Wrexham’s promotion push after agreeing terms until the end of the season.
“Hopefully I can help the younger players in the team to develop and they in turn can help me by doing more of the physical work,” he said yesterday.
“I just want to play football again and I have been impressed by the positive atmosphere at Wrexham and also by the manager and his coaching staff.
“The team have been playing very well in the last few weeks and we all want that to continue so that we can get Wrexham back into the Football League.”
The Dragons have been unbeaten at the Racecourse in the league since Saunders was appointed last October and Darracott wants the side to build on last Thursday’s televised success.
“We are going for two home wins in a row in an upbeat frame of mind,” he said. “We had a good win last week against a strong side, we scored two fine goals and the defensive display was excellent.
“Our keeper didn’t really have a save to make, which is encouraging, but that’s because we defend as a team and attack as a team. But it is important that we push on and take it one game at a time.
“We have matches in hand on the teams around us but we are focused only on Northwich and what we are going to do in the game.
“Results elsewhere at the weekend went pretty well for us but it’s down to us to look after ourselves and make sure we keep up the pressure on the other sides.”
The Vics, who have former Racecourse midfielder Matt Crowell in their line-up, were beaten 3-0 at Woking on Saturday where defenders Jamie Stevens and Jay Conroy were given debuts along with new striker Damian Reeves, who came off the bench.