JUAN UGARTE'S hopes of rekindling his love affair with Wrexham have been put on hold as a result of the knee injury he sustained at Bristol Rovers last Saturday.
But the lethal Basque striker, who returned to the Racecourse last week on loan from Crewe Alexandra, is confident he will have plenty of opportunities to rediscover the goal-scoring form that made him an instant hit last season.
Although likely to miss Saturday's home game with Darlington and then sit out the FA Cup first-round tie at Port Vale to avoid being cup-tied should he be eventually recalled to Gresty Road, Ugarte believes Crewe boss Dario Gradi will be happy to let him stay with Wrexham for more than four weeks.
"Dario has said he'll only bring me back to start games and, with him having so many other strikers, I can't see myself back at Crewe soon," he said this week.
"That suits me because I want to stay at Wrexham and I'm happier here than anywhere else."
But a tally of 23 goals in 29 games last season made Ugarte a target for a host of clubs during the summer and Wrexham's relegation, allied to his own ambitions, almost inevitably led to a parting of the ways.
"Cardiff, Plymouth, Barnsley, Doncaster and MK Dons were all interested but I wanted to be in the Championship because I felt if I scored 15 goals or so I could maybe go even higher," he added.
"Crewe was the ideal move for me as it meant I could stay in this area of the country and they play the right sort of football, but I have to confess it did not work out for me at all.
"I can't say anything bad about Dario, his coaching staff or the play-ers because everyone was great, but there are a lot of strikers there and the manager seemed to prefer them.
"I don't really believe he ever gave me a chance, which was confusing, because he had told me I would be given my opportunity. But even though I was scoring in the reserves - four or five goals in as many games - it never came so I've been very frustrated and disappointed.
"I asked to go on loan and, though he initially refused, I went back again and I had no doubts that I wanted to come back to Wrexham, even though there were a couple of League One clubs chasing me."
Ugarte, 25, admits his decision to return was influenced by Chester-based businessman Geoff Moss, who with Neville Dickens is hoping to buy the Racecourse club from owner Alex Hamilton.
Still lodging with Moss and his family 12 months after leaving San Sebastian to forge a new career in the English game, he added: "Last season was the best time of my life.
"I really enjoyed my first experience of English football with Wrexham because everyone was so nice, so helpful and so friendly.
"Sure, the club had a few problems off the field but winning the LDV Vans Trophy was a real highlight and going to Crewe just showed me what I was missing.
"Wrexham has been like a second home to me and I'm so happy to be back."
Being confined to the Colliers Park treatment room was not on Ugarte's agenda but he remains optimistic he can play his part in steering Denis Smith's side up the table in the weeks ahead.
"Injuries are a fact of life, although it's disappointing to pick up a knock in my first game back," he said.
"But I'll be fit in a couple of weeks and I won't let anyone down.
"With what happened for me last season, the fans will be expecting goals from me and I aim to deliver.
"If that puts pressure on me I'm okay with that because I'm confident in my own ability and Wrexham are a good team.
"With the backing of the fans, and with what's happening about the sale of the club, hopefully Wrexham will be back in League One next season.
"That's where they deserve to be. "Then everyone will be looking for the club to make the next step up. And with the right people in charge I believe they can go even higher."