WREXHAM manager Denis Smith will be counting his fit and able-bodied players before naming a squad for the first of two vital home matches in five days, beginning against Colchester United this evening.
Dean Bennett and Alex Smith, who both started Saturday's game at Hull City, have joined an injury list that comprises Andy Dibble, Brian Carey, Danny Williams and Jim Whitley. There are also doubts over 'flu victims Chris Llewellyn, Steve Roberts, Juan Ugarte, Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards and Craig Morgan. "At the moment I've got 14 players on my list, some of whom I'm not really sure about, so everybody who can walk will be reporting to the ground," said Smith..
"They will either come in or phone to say they are still feeling ill, which is a pretty similar situation to that which we had on Saturday when neither Dennis Lawrence nor Juan Ugarte should have even been in the side.
"Juan, in particular, slept all the way to Hull, slept in the dressing room when he came off and slept all the way home again while Dennis did very well to get through the 90 minutes."
Ironically the illness that forced Trinidad international Edwards to miss out at the KC Stadium has boosted his chances of returning tonight.
A planned minor operation yesterday to reset some broken bones in his hand was postponed because of his symptoms.
Instead he managed to complete a light training session and has been added to the squad.
The Racecourse boss, who yesterday sent home another 'flu victim - his assistant Kevin Russell - admitted frustration was beginning to get the better of his normally positive nature.
"I'm a great believer in the saying 'you make your own luck' but now I'm even starting to wonder whether we are fated," he added.
"Our supporters want us to get blood from a stone and that's what we are managing to do at the moment.
"We are going out with the intention of winning every game we play but it would be nice to do it on a level playing field for a change.
"Besides going into administration and being docked 10 points, to have had so many long-term injuries is something I've never experienced.
"And once we find ourselves somewhere close to picking a strong side and going to Oldham last week, they are given a lifeline because the referee gave them a penalty for no reason whatsoever.
"On top of all that we are then hit by this bug, so it would be fair to say things haven't really been going for us.
"It's getting to the stage that you wonder what is going to happen next.
"To say I'm frustrated is an understatement because the one thing I do know is that neither the players at the club nor the supporters deserve what has happened to them so far this season."
The Dragons boss, nevertheless, is backing his players to bounce back from the 2-1 weekend defeat, which brought an end to a seven-match unbeaten run.
"We have some big games coming up and we are capable of achieving what we want, both in the league and the LDV Vans Trophy," he said..
"Under the circumstances we played extremely well at Hull and there is no reason why we can't put together another run of results."
Colchester are likely to be unchanged from the side which lost 2-0 at home to Bristol City at the weekend, although boss Phil Parkinson afterwards was highly critical of their performance.
WREXHAM (from): Foster; Pejic, Roberts, Morgan, Lawrence, Edwards, Spender, Crowell, Jones, Ferguson, Green, Holt, Armstrong, Llewellyn, Sam, Ugarte, Harrison, Mackin.
COLCHESTER UNITED (probable): Gerkin; Chilvers, Baldwin, Brown, Hunt; Keith, Watson, Banns, Johnson; Fagan, Halford. Subs: Davison, Williams, White, Guy, Ndumbu-Nsungu.
REFEREE: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)
Wrexham 6/5, Colchester 9/5, Draw 9/4. First goalscorer: Juan Ugarte 5/1, Craig Fagan 13/2, Darren Ferguson 20/1.