Wrexham 0 Altrincham 1
DEAN Saunders emerged from a 45-minute post-match dressing room inquest to hint he is planning a major summer overhaul of his under-performing Dragons.
Wrexham’s depressing end to the campaign plumbed to new depths on Monday as they fell to a defeat, courtesy of Aurelien Collin’s 52nd-minute own goal, which officially ended their chances of reaching the Blue Square Premier play-offs.
The reverse to the part-timers, for whom it was a first win in seven, means the Reds have won just two of their last 14 since they lost at champions-elect Burton Albion.
Prior to that clash, the Dragons were touted as potential title dark horses after winning 11 and drawing four of Saunders’ first 16 games in charge.
But their loss of form means they make the trip to Kettering Town on Saturday (3pm) in the no man’s land of 10th place.
“The players have got to show more desire and get annoyed,” said Saunders, who rotated his mammoth squad yet again against Altrincham by making four changes to the team that lost 1-0 at Oxford United on Saturday.
“Wayne Rooney gets annoyed if someone takes the ball off him and that’s what I want. Not everybody can be Rooney, but everybody can have his attitude.
“In the summer, I have to get players in here like that. I’ve learned a lot about the league and I’m starting to think about things in different ways.
“If we have a decent pre-season in which we have 12 to 15 games to teach the players, the ones who are going to stay here that is, they will come back wiser and stronger.
“If I’m given the tools and everybody at the club is behind me and wants me to push the club forward, then I feel I can take the club in the right direction.
“I never envisaged working at this level but I’ve got a feeling for the club, I’m Welsh and I’m trying as hard as anybody to get things right.”
Goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, on his senior debut, Mansour Assoumani, before he was harshly sent off late on for allegedly lashing out at Chris Denham, and Ryan Flynn were Wrexham’s better performers on a miserable afternoon at the Racecourse.
Maxwell became the 45th player used by the Dragons this season after the on-loan Gunnar Nielsen broke his thumb at Oxford and returned to parent club Manchester City for treatment.
Assoumani has been handed a three-match ban and so misses Kettering and Tuesday’s penultimate game of the campaign at Ebbsfleet United (7.45pm).