WREXHAM manager Denis Smith is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as key players step up their recovery from injury.
Club captain Brian Carey (pictured above), sidelined by a foot problem since the middle of March, is ready to return to first-team action this weekend, while midfield duo Jim Whitley and Carlos Edwards are making rapid progress in overcoming lengthy absences due to hamstring strains.
Striker Chris Armstrong is also expected to be in contention for the final game of the season at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, who make the long trip to North Wales already assured of a place in the end-of-season Second Division play-offs.
Both Whitley and Edwards have missed the last four games and the Racecourse boss said there was no question of taking a gamble on their fitness, especially with the FAW Premier Cup final at Rhyl taking place next Wednesday evening.
The Dragons are looking to retain the trophy they won last year and collect the winner's cheque for £100,000 in a match being televised live on BBC Wales.
"If there's any doubt over any of the players who are now back in training, they won't play on Saturday," he said.
"We want to win on Saturday because that would guarantee a finish in the top half of the table, but we also have to be aware of the need to field our strongest team possible against Rhyl." Aware that some fans are planning a red-card protest during the game against Brighton, over club chairman Mark Guterman's perceived failure to keep them informed of his redevelopment plans for the Racecourse, Smith said he hoped supporters would turn out in force to back his side.
Recent home attendances have averaged around 3,500, way below the club's break-even point, and Smith said: "I want the fans to turn up to show that they care about Wrexham FC.
"If the numbers improve, I can go to the money-men and tell them there is a supporter base in North Wales, which warrants them investing in the team. The club belongs to the supporters and they have got to show that they care.
"Earlier in the season, I was delighted to see so many fans, particularly at the Kop end, wearing their red shirts and that's what it's all about."
Racecourse goalkeeper Andy Dibble (pictured right), who broke his arm at Peterborough in March has been given the all-clear to resume training and, with a metal plate inserted in his fore-arm, is hoping to return next season stronger than ever.
"The surgeon was very happy with the progress I've made and as far as he is concerned I'll be ready to start again in the middle of June, which looks like a big plus for the start of the season," he said.
"I feel as if I'm going to be okay and I want to be on the ferry going to the Isle of Man.
"Providing everything goes well, which I'm sure it will, I want to end my playing career here."