RECORDS and reputations mean nothing to Wrexham manager Dean Saunders, who is focused on winning another three Blue Square Premier points at Kidderminster Harriers this afternoon.
The Dragons’ five-match winning run under the former Liverpool and Wales international is on the line against opponents who have lost just one league match at Aggborough since February, but Saunders trumped suggestions that his players could expect a severe test from Mark Yates’ side with a warning of his own.
“It’s a game of football,” he said. “The only severe test for my players is in pleasing me and if they do what I’m asking them to do then we will win the match.”
The Racecourse boss added: “It’s not about who we play, it’s about my players wanting to keep their place in the team.”
Saunders, who spent the early part of the week on international duty with Wales in Denmark but was back in charge of training at Colliers Park on Thursday, conceded that Harriers – three points ahead of his side – stand fifth in the table on merit.
But he went on: “It may well be as difficult a game as I’ve had to date, but I’m not interested in draws so we will be going there to try and get the three points.
“My players have worked very hard again this week and I hope they now understand that they cannot afford to ease up. I’ll be watching all of them very closely tomorrow for any evidence of slacking because that’s something I won’t accept.
“I know we cannot expect to win every single game we play, but we can definitely try to do that. And no matter what the score is tomorrow, we’ll continue to stick with the same philosophy.”
Saunders confirmed one change to the squad that travelled to Weymouth last weekend, striker Patrick Suffo coming into contention at the expense of Silvio Spann, who has a shoulder injury. But the former Cameroon international, whose international clearance came though during the week, will have to settle for a place on the bench.
“Patrick is fit and champing at the bit to get a game under his belt,” added Saunders. “At the moment, though, my other two strikers (Marc Williams and Jefferson Louis) are doing well and scoring goals.
“That’s only to be expected given the way we play so it’s the other side of their game that I’m interested in. They need to work hard when they haven’t got the ball and both of them are aware that Patrick is looking over their shoulder now.”
With brothers Mike and Marc Williams, together with Wes Baynes, all available after nursing knocks sustained last Saturday, the Racecourse boss is likely to name an unchanged line-up this afternoon and he is hoping that recently-arrived loan signings Nathan Woolfe and Nathan Fairhurst have properly settled in.
“They were thrown in at the deep end to some extent last week,” he added. “But they know what’s required of them and they know their jobs. Anyone who doesn’t understand is always welcome to knock on my door and I won’t ask players to do what they can’t do.
“The two Nathans did well last weekend, but they will know the lads a lot better after a full week here and it won’t have harmed anyone to have a different face and voice in charge of training while I was away.
“But pleased as I was by the result in Denmark, when I got on the plane in Copenhagen on Thursday morning it was with my Wrexham hat firmly on my head.”
Kidderminster boss Yates believes his side’s impressive home defensive record of just four goals conceded all season will be thoroughly tested this afternoon.
Yates said: “Their manager has come in and turned things around. He always had the players and they’re on a very good run.”
Former Racecourse midfielder Dean Bennett could make his first Harriers start in three months after Russ Penn picked up a thigh injury in Saturday’s win at Rushden.