ONWARD and upward is the mantra from Wrexham manager Brian Carey, who is hoping to follow Saturday’s away win at Barnet with a repeat performance against Shrewsbury Town at the Gay Meadow this evening.
The re-arranged match – which goes ahead subject to a pitch inspection at 10.30 this morning – comes just 10 days after the Shrews ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at the Racecourse, but the Dragons boss reckons his side will be a very different prospect this time round.
And although it’s 13 months and 51 matches ago since Wrexham last secured back-to-back victories, Carey said he was not prepared to countenance anything other than three more vital points in the battle against relegation.
“We are going out to win the game because we cannot pick and choose where we’re going to get results,” he said confidently.
“There are 11 games left this season, we will be trying to win them all and I believe we are good enough to do that.”
Wrexham will be without Danny Williams, who injured his back midway through the first half at Underhill, but full back Ryan Valentine is available after missing the weekend game to be at the birth of his first child.
And Carey claimed his biggest concern was the state of the Gay Meadow playing surface, which was heavily sanded for last Friday’s 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers and has since soaked up further heavy rainfall.
“Danny is finding it difficult to move freely at the moment, but Ryan – who drove home in the early hours of Saturday morning to be with his wife – is back,” he added.
“My major worry is the playing surface, which is bound to be heavy. We will have to adjust our play to suit the conditions, but we know what to expect and it won’t be the first time we’ve experienced what we are likely to face.”
Insisting there was no vestige of a hangover from the recent Racecourse clash between the teams, Carey said: “We caused our own problems against them in the first game but six days later at Barnet we were a very different team playing with a very different attitude.
“Shrewsbury will discover we are a very different proposition too and the challenge for us is to push on even more to improve on what we achieved last Saturday.
“There was real hunger and desire at Barnet, there were a lot of good individual performances and everyone made a significant contribution to getting the result we wanted.”
The Racecourse boss was particularly encouraged by the displays at Underhill from loan midfielders Robbie Garrett and Jeff Whitley, who have renewed a partnership initially forged earlier this season at Stoke City.
“They have played together on a number of occasions, they have a good understanding and they know each other’s game,” he added. “They are a complementary unit and produced a very workmanlike display.
“Jeff has had three or four games now and we are beginning to see the best of him. He is a big player at this level of football and I am confident he will be a very big player for us in the games ahead.”
Defender Shaun Pejic, who was injured when Shrewsbury came to town, reckoned a point this evening would go some way to underpinning the new-found confidence.
“It was a massive result for us at Barnet and there was a certain amount of relief at the final whistle,” he said. “We could have wrapped it up when Chris Llewellyn hit the post but after that there was a massive scramble in our area in the dying seconds.
“I think there were five of us trying to get the ball away from the danger area so the result was brilliant and even better when we heard that scores elsewhere had also gone for us.
“We were buzzing in the dressing room afterwards and I’d like to think we can take that feeling into the Shrewsbury game and put up another good performance.
“It’s important that we don’t lose the game, if only to give us something more to build on as we look ahead to Bury on Friday, another very important test.”