DENIS SMITH fears Wrexham's gruelling pre-season schedule will stretch his wafer-thin squad to the limit.
The Dragons manager has expressed concern over playing three games in the space of four days next week, starting with Sunday's Isle of Man tournament opener against Port Vale.
Wrexham then face Bristol Rovers in Peel on Tuesday before flying back to the mainland for Wednesday's lucrative friendly with Liverpool - a match squeezed in at short notice after the club had agreed to enter the Isle of Man event.
The clash has done wonders for the Racecourse coffers, but Smith is worried about the strain it will place on his players - particularly as they must fly back to the Isle of Man the following day to play their final tournament match on either Friday or Saturday.
When Wrexham play depends on how they fare in the first two matches of the tournament.
It is a schedule that's giving Smith plenty of headaches, and the Dragons boss last night said he would request permission to use more than the permitted three substitutions for his side's three tour matches.
He said: "It's something I'll be looking into because playing three games in four days is a worry.
"Last season, we were restricted to three substitutions per match, but I'll be trying to find out if we can get that changed this year. I'm really going to have to juggle my squad around and it means a few of the young lads, like Simon Spender and Levi Makin, could see quite a bit of first-team action."
Robbed of the services of Carlos Edwards and Matt Crowell through injury, Smith will take an 18-man squad to Douglas tomorrow.
He has already been laying on extra training sessions for recent signings Alex Smith and Andy Holt - who missed the start of pre-season - in a bid to prepare them for next week's matches.
The Dragons players get a slight breather on their return from the Isle of Man as their match with Spanish side Osasuna on Tuesday, July 27 has been cancelled.
Wrexham's final pre-season fixture is at Hereford United on Saturday, July 31 - a week before the League One season begins with Swindon Town's visit to the Racecourse.
Meanwhile, there are only about 1,000 tickets remaining for Wednesday's friendly match against Liverpool.
The game is likely to be a sell-out and gate receipts have already broken the £150,000 mark, surpassing the club's previous best set for the League Cup tie with Everton two years ago.
Fans attending the game will get the chance to win an executive holiday for two in the Caribbean in a special prize draw.
* THERE are still tickets available for tonight's Wrexham Supporters' Trust launch at the Racecourse's Centenary Club (8pm).
Tickets cost £10 - payable on the door - and include a hot-pot supper.