NEW Wrexham midfielder Jeff Whitley, whose second loan spell at the Racecourse began with a defeat, remains optimistic about the Dragons’ league survival bid.
The former Northern Ireland international admitted that the home side were caught cold by a sparkling opening spell from neighbours Shrewsbury Town but claimed to have seen enough in the second half to back up his view that Wrexham can stay up.
“We made it hard on ourselves, particularly in the first half, because we didn’t start the game well enough,” he said.
“Shrewsbury came out of the blocks very quickly and maybe we weren’t prepared for that, so we need to be at it from the word go.
“I’ve been in this situation before and we all have to stick together – the team, the management and the fans, especially them because they can make a big impact.
“It’s tough down at the bottom and things don’t always go for you in this sort of situation, but we have to make our own luck and really believe we can get out of it.”
Whitley, who had played just 60 minutes of reserve-team football in three months before starting yesterday, added: “I remain convinced that if we can keep everyone fit, we are capable of getting clear of the relegation zone and as far as I’m concerned I’m just delighted to be playing again.
“It’s like the start of a new season for me.
“I’ve not really played much football since December so I was happy to get through the 90 minutes and I think my fitness can only get better as a result.
“Hopefully the fans will see that I’ve got a lot more to offer once I get a few games under my belt.”
This latest defeat leaves Wrexham rooted in the League Two relegation zone and manager Brian Carey admitted he was close to the end of his tether after the visitors dominated the derby clash for long spells.
“We had the right preparation and all the right reasons to do well today, so it was extremely disappointing and we don’t have the time to keep saying the same things to the players time and again,” he said.
“I don’t want any hard luck stories because I’ve done enough talking and I’m bored with it. I’m saying the same things every week and once we get onto the field we have to be positive.
“It was very disappointing today. In the opening period of the game we didn’t play on the front foot as we had asked them to do and the players adopted a ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ approach. That cost us on the first goal and then heads went down a bit and their second and third goals were both down to poor defending.”
But the Racecourse boss took heart from a more positive showing after the interval, when a fine goal from Danny Williams gave them some hope
“We only had 10 men in the second half, but the manner in which we went about it just proved what we can do,” he added.
“We got the goal back and there was a bit of anger in our play. There was a lot of anger in Danny’s shot and as a result we were more positive.
“The lads showed some character but that’s the easiest thing to do when you are 3-0 down and if you’ve got nothing to lose. I want them to go for it from the off.”