WREXHAM boss Denis Smith has stressed the need for a tighter defensive performance when play-off hopefuls Hartlepool United visit the Racecourse on Saturday.
Costly errors were the downfall of the Dragons in last Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons - a result which moved Danny Wilson's side above Smith's in the League One relegation zone.
Although the Wrexham chief could look to the number of key players he didn't have at his disposal, he chose not to offer any excuses for the loss.
He said: 'It's not a nice feeling. Normally we are tight at the back, so if we miss chances - as we usually do - then we are still in the game.
'But to let three goals in was extremely disappointing. We had a lot of the play but couldn't put our chances away. I can't be happy with that and although it was basically through bad defending, they stuck their chances away.'
The Dons ended Wrexham's two-match winning run, that saw them record 2-1 league victories over Huddersfield Town and Stockport County.
The wins had raised hope of a immediate move out of the drop zone, following the Football League's decision to dock the club 10 points for going into administration.
And, although Wrexham are set to launch an appeal against the deduction, Smith believes his side won't be sidetracked from winning games.
He said: 'We have got to sort things out on the pitch and get our players fit.
'We have to win football matches to keep everyone bubbling, and that includes me. If we want people to back us, then we've got to perform on the field.'
Darren Ferguson will return to the squad for Saturday's clash with ninth-placed Hartlepool after serving a one-match ban - but only if he makes a full recovery from dental surgery on Tuesday to remove his wisdom teeth.
Shaun Pejic is suspended after picking up his fifth caution of the campaign in the win over Stockport, so Craig Morgan - missing last weekend with a thigh strain - should step into the back-line.
Club captain Brian Carey however is ruled out, and as the Mail was going to press, the veteran was due to undergo a scan to reveal the extent of a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since October.
But Smith will be boosted by the imminent return of Jim Whitley.
Wrexham will begin their defence of the FAW Premier Cup at Haverfordwest County on the week beginning Monday, January 17, 2005.
The quarter-final clash at New Bridge Meadow will see the Dragons come up against former Red, Deryn Brace, who is player-manager of the Welsh Premier League outfit.
Wrexham have had the date of their LDV Vans Trophy Northern Section semi-final match at Hereford United confirmed.
The Edgar Street encounter will take place on Tuesday, January 25