AMBITION still burns bright for Wrexham goalkeeper Andy Dibble, who yesterday revealed he continues to set his own personal targets even after 20 years as a professional footballer.
The 38-year old veteran has lost none of his enthusiasm for the game and, as the current season approaches the half-way mark, he said: "I want to play in every league game this season and I also want to improve on the 19 clean sheets we kept last season."
Going into the traditionally hectic Christmas programme, Dibble is well on course to achieve his goals. He's played every league match so far, not conceding a goal on eight occasions.
"I think we have got the third-best defensive record in the Second Division, which isn't bad considering we've stepped up from the Third Division this time," he added. "I was a bit disappointed to miss a few games last season, but it's made me doubly keen to be involved in every match in this campaign. And the start we have made is generally encouraging, although there have been a few blips along the way."
Sidelined by injury for six weeks just over 12 months ago, Dibble has some sympathy for captain Darren Ferguson, currently serving a three-match ban following his sending- off at Luton Town on November 15.
The midfielder will have been out of action for six weeks by the time he is eligible to return against Stockport County on Boxing Day. Dibble said: "Earlier this season, Darren would only have missed a week.
"As it is, he's had a frustrating time but the important thing for the club is that his absence does not have too big an impact on the team's performance.
"He is a very, very influential player for us, but if we can win at Grimsby on Saturday, two wins out of the three games will show that we have players who can come in and do a job.
"That's why Saturday's win against Peterborough was so important and it's given all the lads a huge boost.
"We now need to keep it going on Saturday and, if we get the result, the pressure will be on Darren.
"It would also make the gaffer's job harder and I'm glad that I'm not the person who has to pick the team." But Dibble is only too well aware that Wrexham have failed to build on a very promising start to the campaign, when they were unbeaten in their opening four games. promises to be another tough match, yet we can go there with a fair degree of confidence," he said.
"But on numerous occasions this season that's not been enough and sometimes we need to have a bit more belief.
"Sometimes, though, we beat ourselves because we have been very good in some matches and absolutely awful in others.
"We have a good mix of experience and youth and if there's been a problem, it's that we've not been getting goals as regularly as last season.
"Nevertheless, we are still in the pack and we've now got to push on and try to go that bit further.
"We are out of the major cup competitions, but there is still plenty to play for in the league and it would be nice to think that we might string together an unbeaten run of four or five games, which will provide the momentum for us to kick on into the second half of the season."