Wrexham have earned five successive home wins, but manager Sam Ricketts is demanding more from his players.
The Dragons defeated Hartlepool 1-0 at the Racecourse in midweek, but Ricketts was fed up after and described that performance ‘the worst of my time in charge.’
Hartlepool had a player sent off, but Wrexham laboured to victory and now focus on playing Gateshead at home on Saturday (3pm).
Ricketts said: “It’s an amazing feeling to say, ‘listen lads, we were poor tonight, but well done we still won’.
“It’s a really good trait and probably comes from a pure desire to not give in, to block, to head, to work and run and press and harry. Misplaced passes – yes. Decision-making – poor at times.
“But I can’t ever fault their effort to try and win the game.
“Games come thick and fast, but you love it when games are coming and you’re winning, and it gives you an opportunity to express yourselves again.
“Clearly, we need to perform better than we did against Hartlepool, but that performance was a rarity for us if I’m honest.
“It’s not the norm, so you just have to put it down to one of those things.”
Gateshead had won four in a row before their last-minute midweek defeat against Fylde and head to the Racecourse lying seventh in the Vanarama National League – six points behind second-placed Wrexham.
After overcoming a Hartlepool team who pressed high up the pitch on Tuesday night, Ricketts is expecting another Former Newcastle and Everton defender Steve Watson is Gateshead manager and their squad includes former Merthyr Town, Newport County and Swansea City left-back Scott Barrow.
The visitors also have ex-Wrexham player Scott Boden in their attack. The former Macclesfield forward spent last season at the Cae Ras.
“Gateshead are a young side who are doing fantastically well,” says Ricketts. “Really good. They pass the ball really well.”
Wrexham midfield player Luke Young has been outstanding for Wrexham, taking his goals tally to three for the season and providing lots of energy and creativity.
Luke Summerfield could return in midfield after injury, while Wrexham’;s medical staff with also assess Mark Carrington.