WREXHAM'S Shaun Pejic has shrugged off Wales' Euro 2004 playoff defeat and said: "We can put the smile back on Welsh faces."
The Wales under-21 defender is sure Wrexham have what it takes to get into the First Division and he's ready to help.
"Against Russia it was just one of those nights," he said.
"I'm bitterly disappointed but really we blew it a long time before that game. We should have already booked our place.
"However, I think Wrexham can put the smile back into Welsh football. We're good enough to get to the play-offs at least. No side has turned us over yet and if we can get some consistency, like we did at the end of last season, we can do it."
"We can start that on Saturday." Wrexham take on Wycombe Wanderers, who have recently installed one of Pejic's heroes, Tony Adams, as their new manager.
"He's someone whom I looked at to help my game," Pejic said. "To be honest, you have to study a lot of the top players, but he's definitley someone I admired.
"They had been struggling defensively before he came and it will be interesting to see if he's sorted that out already."
But Pejic has good teachers at Wrexham as well, and manager Denis Smith has taken a keen interest in the defender's progress.
A first-team regular under the former Stoke City centre-half, Smith took Pejic out of the firing line against Hartlepool and it has proved to be the right decision.
The Wrexham boss said: "Some aspects of Shaun's game, like his passing, have improved out of all measure in the past 18 months.
"Centre-halves don't mature until their mid-20s and young players in general need a rest every now and again.
"They don't always realise the pressure they've been under until they do."
Pejic returned to the line-up 10 games later in the 1-0 win at Black-pool and was a solid performer in last weekend's 3-2 defeat at Luton.
"I played about the first 10 games non-stop as well as turning out for Wales," he said. "I was tired and perhaps I was going through the motions.
"I needed time out of the team to chill out, basically, and reflect on my game. That's what I've been doing.
"A lot of it is down to confidence for me. I've got no problems with my actual defending but when I had the ball, it was a different story.
"I think I've got the belief to play a bit now. The crowd were getting on my back a bit before I was rested but that didn't affect me. But a step back has certainly helped improve my confidence."
Smith promoted Pejic from the reserves when he took over, and since becoming a Dragons regular, he's also lined up against the likes of Italy and Serbia for Wales U21.
"At one point it just all hit me," he said. "But I decided to treat it all as a buzz and see how far I could go in the game. The step-up to the Second Division hasn't affected me too much.
"Players are bit more cute when they have the ball and it's less direct than the Third Division, but it's all part of my learning curve.
"Denis has shown a lot of faith in me and I aim to repay him."
Stephen Thomas, Lee Jones and Shaun Holmes missed training yesterday and are doubtful for Saturday.
Former Dragon Craig Faulconbridge played 50 minutes in a reserve match for Wycombe on Wednesday as he recovers from major knee surgery.
However, the game against his former club has come too quickly for the striker.