BRIAN LITTLE admits his preparations for tonight’s Blue Square Premier game with Oxford United have been hampered because of international call-ups.
With Steve Evans involved with John Toshack’s squad that faced Georgia in a friendly last night just hours after the under-21s – including Mike Williams and Kyle Critchell – faced Romania in a European Championship qualifier, Little was sitting tight hoping all three came through unscathed.
But it is hardly the best preparation for Wrexham’s second home game of the season, which is also being shown live on Setanta.
“For tomorrow’s game we are just sitting on the edge of our seats to be honest,” said Little yesterday. “We’ve got Steve Evans who’s with the full squad and now we’ve got Mike (Williams) and now Kyle (Critchell) with the under-21s and obviously Kyle is free from his suspension now, so there’s not really a lot we can do until tomorrow.
“Certainly this week it has put a bit of a test on us, but we’ve got to stay strong mentally and we’ve got to make sure everyone comes in tomorrow, so our preparation for the game is slightly different from what it would normally be.
“We have to come in here tomorrow and we have to give Evo time to get back, and have to have a chat with Pej (Mel Pejic) who’s with him, and that’s the bonus of having Evo away is that the physio is with him. We know what his training regime has been and we’ll know if he’s been involved in the game at any stage, but again from our point of view it’s great but it’s not ideal for the game.”
So far Wrexham have endured a mixed start to life outside the Football League, having won, drawn and lost each of their first three matches.
And Little is adamant that tonight’s encounter with Oxford is going to be another tough task, especially considering the U’s saw off Eastbourne Borough 6-3 to record their first win on Saturday.
“I don’t think we’re going to have easy games to be honest,” the Dragons boss added. “But they did what a lot of people expected them to do with their six goals on Saturday, and last season I think I’m right in saying they had the most clean sheets in the whole of the division.
“They went out in the summer and have brought in several forward players, and whether it clicked or not in the first few games is not the debate, the fact is that it did click in the last game and they scored six. So they’ve potentially got a team that will, I am sure, be very competitive in the division throughout the season, so it’s not an easy game for us.
“I saw their first game of the season when they went down to 10 men after about half an hour and that always makes it difficult for you. It changes the shape, but they still looked as though they were reasonably comfortable at 0-0. It was just one of them days where nothing went right for them, but they seem to have got that out of their system now and if you look at them they are still a decent side.
“We’re playing a team that has just had a fantastic result so it’s not going to be easy, but we are up for it and we are ready and looking forward to it, and it will be great to win but it will be hard to do that.”
A win tonight will put Wrexham up to second in the table, but Little admits they still have much to learn about the league before they can start to really make an impact.
He added: “Obviously at the moment being the new ones to the league we’ve got a little bit of learning to do, and if we do make a mistake we’ve got to learn quickly from it.
“I’ve said all along that by the end of the month we’ll have a really good idea of what things are about.”