Ace Jefferson Louis
WREXHAM boss Dean Saunders has no intention of being rushed when it comes to bringing in the players he feels will help the club back into the Football League.
The appointment of Saunders, who took over in charge at the Racecourse in October following the departure of Brian Little, saw an immediate up turn in the Dragons fortunes as they charged into the play-off spots.
But a terrible run in to the business end of the campaign ended with Wrexham 10th place, 15 points shy of Stevenage Borough who filled the final play-off berth.
However, Saunders, who has already dropped the axe over a number of Wrexham players, will not be rushed into making personnel changes at the club unless he feels they would benefit the team.
“I think we can be patient,” he said. “Leyton Orient released eight players from their books only yesterday, and Chester City are trying to release all their players, so there are going to be players coming onto the market all the time.
“What we have to do is to make sure we get the
right players for the way I want to play football. Then, and this is the hard part, we have to try to persuade them to drop down to the Conference.
“We did well last year with the loan players and the players on short-term deals we were able to get in, the likes of Ashley Westwood, John Curtis, Joe Allen, who did a really good job for us, Nathan Fairhurst, Ryan Flynn. But most of them were all young lads and when you are playing three games week in week out it can take a real toll on them and also it can be hard for them to come back and pick themselves up after a defeat.”
So far Saunders has released goalkeepers Gavin Ward and Anthony Williams, as well as young defenders Chris Marriott and Simon Spender, while Jefferson Louis left the club yesterday by mutual agreement having had his contract cancelled.
But while Saunders who is also assistant coach to national boss John Toshack, will not be rushed, he does have a certain type of player in mind to boost the Dragons.
“I’ve got ideas on how I want to play,” he added. “And I’ve got ideas on the type of players I want and I’m going to try and bring in better players to the club every year.
“It’s not rocket science, you look to get the best players you can for the right money for the club, and then coach them and organise them to play.
“Jeff (Louis) was a decent player when he put his mind to it, and he did really well for us up to Christmas, but then struggled a little bit after Christmas.
“I just felt I couldn’t guarantee him a place in the starting line up, and maybe him living so far away in London was also an issue.
“I’ve got priorities, looking at last season, I know what went wrong and I know what we have to do to put it right.
“Burton Albion went on a worse run that we did towards the end of the season, but still went up as champions.”
Saunders could be forgiven, however, for feeling fortune was not on his side last season. In form striker Marc Williams broke a bone in his foot at home against Salisbury in the 1-1 draw, and then the player brought in to replace him, Matt Jansen, also went down with an injury.
“We did feel quite unlucky. But that’s football, it happens and you have to get on with it.”
“Marc was in really good form for us, but it’s not only his goals, it’s also his workrate, and hopefully he’ll come back and be ready to have a full pre-season with us and get back to the form of last season.
“I want players who have that kind of attitude and give everything. If you’ve got a team of them you won’t go far wrong, because they never give you a three out of 10 performance. The worst you’ll ever get from them is maybe a five or a six out of 10.”