AFTER Wrexham’s disastrous exit from the FA Cup on Tuesday, fans are hoping forgotten midfielder Conall Murtagh will graduate from the reserves to the starting line-up for this weekend’s visit of lowly Lewes.
Murtagh – who achieved a 2.1 Honours degree in physiology from the University of Manchester in the summer – has been left kicking his heels since the arrival of manager Dean Saunders earlier this month.
But the 23-year-old is confident that his chance will come, despite Saunders looking to draft in a young defender and midfielder ahead of tomorrow’s game.
“I’ve been out for a bit but am now back to full fitness and available for selection,” said the Ulsterman.
“I’ve had meningitis and that took a while to recover from, but I’m feeling more confident now and want to get back into the team.
“I played in the reserve match against Manchester City (1-1 draw) on Wednesday and did okay.
“I’m just trying to work as hard as I can for Wrexham and hope I’ll get back in some time in the future.”
Supporters were frustrated last Saturday when the Dragons failed to overcome Unibond League side Eastwood Town in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.
They were positively seething after going down with a whimper in the replay on Tuesday night, and failing to even register a shot on target during the 2-0 defeat.
Those in attendance were appalled at Wrexham’s display, Saunders especially, and he has promised to bring in new blood for the Lewes match, as well as taking a look at the players who’ve yet to start a game during his short reign – Murtagh included.
“The manager hasn’t spoken to me about my situation but it’s nice to hear that the fans are behind me, it’s a compliment and I really appreciate it,” he said.
“I’ve just got to keep giving my all for the manager in these matches and in training and grab the chance if it comes.”
No Wrexham in the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in its 126-year history means no revenue from a cup run and only the Blue Square Premier to concentrate on.
But Murtagh is confident the team can lift the fans spirits between now and the end of the season with a more consistent run of form that will take them back into the Football League.
“We’re all devastated at what happened at Eastwood, it was a poor performance and the fans deserve better than that,” he said. “We’re a better team than them and should have beaten them.
“We know it’s the first time Wrexham has not been in the first round and that’s not good for the club or the fans.
“What we have to do now is focus on the league and move up the table. We’re not far off the play-off places and need to put the Eastwood match behind us and move forward – I’m sure we can do that.”
TO mark the opening of a new Family Section in the Mold Road Stand, Wrexham are offering a special price deal for fans bringing children to tomorrow’s game with Lewes.
Any adult buying a full price £18 ticket from the ticket office in the new club shop will be entitled to claim two free children’s tickets (additional child tickets are £5).
Entry into the Family Section will be via turnstiles 19 and 20 at the Town End of the Mold Road Stand, which is ticket only. Tickets are available until 2.30pm tomorrow.
A club spokesman said: “We are open to suggestions and ideas as to how this Family Section develops, but we hope to make it a little refuge for families who might like to escape the hurly burly of a normal matchday.”