Yorkshire Jake Lawlor believes the belief among Wrexham players ahead of their opening 2019-20 fixture is infectious.
The Dragons are at home against Barrow in their first Vanarama National League match and Lawlor, a midfield player or defender, says: “The gaffer (Bryan Hughes) has brought in new players and the idea is that they are better than what we had last season.
“Everybody in the changing room believes we can do earn promotion.
“The lads that have come in are different to what we had before. They bring something different and they all look quick and sharp in training. They are banging goals in for fun in training.”
Manager Hughes has no doubts, saying: “Our objective this year is to win the league. We can’t look any lower than that.
“There will be ups and downs, but it is about how quickly we recover. That is important.
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“There are loads of factors that will go on throughout the season, our home form has been good here last season, hopefully it will continue this season.
“Our away form was a little bit edgy at times, so that is somewhere we need to get better and improve. It is about putting the foundations in place, instilling in these players that mentality of we are going to win the league, but also instilling into them that whatever happens on a Saturday, if we win, lose or draw, we always have the next game to recover.
“Huddersfield-born Lawlor, who joined Wrexham from Salford almost a year ago, missed the end of the season after suffering a dislocated shoulder in the 3-1 home win against Braintree, but Is now fully fit.
And the centre-back insists confidence his high in the Wrexham dressing room ahead of the new season, with the players determined to utilise home advantage – and the backing of a big crowd – on the opening day.
“Barrow were good at the back end of the season,” said Lawlor. “They beat us 3-1 at the Racecourse, so we owe them one.
“It’s always tough going to Barrow, but at home – on a big pitch – we are confident of beating them.
“Just being at our stadium and seeing the fans with Wrexham shirts is a great help to the lads. With several thousand backing us, it’s great.
“When there are that many people here supporting us you don’t want to disappoint them – it gives you a boost.
“They are that loud and you just want to do it for them.”
Lawlor’s role may change slightly this season, meanwhile, with manager Hughes having trialled a number of different formations throughout the summer.
“It’s good to have a back-up plan, and it’s good that the teams we are playing won’t know what system we are playing,” he said. “We can easily go to a three at the back or four, so it’s all positive.
“I defend a little wider in the three than in the four, and I’ve played predominantly in a back four throughout my career, so it’s just getting used to that slightly different position.
“There are pros and cons to it. You can get your wing-back higher, but then I might have to come a little bit wider [to defend].”
Skipper Shaun Pearson will lead the side out, while Mark Carrington, the club’s longest-serving player, is starting his seventh season at the club.
Barrow include former Dragons players Scott Quigley and John Rooney.
Wrexham goalkeeper Rob Lainton is out injured with an ankle injury and Christian Dibble will start, while Akil Wright has returned from his illness and trained this week.
Two Wrexham home matches will be broadcast live on BT Sport television over the first three months of next season.
TV cameras will be at the Racecourse for Wrexham v Sutton United on Saturday, September 15 (5.20pm) and Wrexham v Chesterfield on Saturday, October 12 (5.20pm)
All 24 Clubs in The National League will be shown live by the broadcaster within the first three months of the campaign (see list below).
Vanarama National League fixtures being shown live on BT Sport television over the first three months of the season
Saturday 3: Stockport County v Maidenhead United (12.30pm)
Saturday 10: Notts County v Barnet (5.20pm)
Saturday 17: Barrow v Yeovil Town (5.20pm)
Saturday 24: Torquay United v Aldershot Town (5.20pm)
Monday 26: Solihull Moors v Eastleigh (7.45pm)
Saturday 31: Chorley v Boreham Wood (5.20pm)
Wednesday 4: Dagenham & Redbridge v Bromley (7.45pm)
Saturday 7: Hartlepool United v Woking (7.30pm)
Saturday 14: Wrexham v Sutton United (5.20pm)
Saturday 21: AFC Fylde v Eastleigh (5.20pm)
Saturday 28: Dover Athletic v FC Halifax Town (5.20pm)
Saturday 5: Harrogate Town v Ebbsfleet United (5.20pm)
Thursday 10: Stockport County v Hartlepool United (7.45pm)
Saturday 12: Wrexham v Chesterfield (5.20pm)
Wrexham’s full 2019-20 National League schedule
Sat 3 – Barrow H
Tues 6 – Boreham Wood A
Sat 10 – Dover Athletic A
Tues 13 – FC Halifax Town H
Sat 17 – Notts County A
Sat 24 – Barnet H
Mon 26 – Hartlepool United A
Sat 31 – Stockport County H
Tues 3 – Maidenhead United H
Sat 7 – Solihull Moors A [Scottish Challenge Cup R3]
Sat 14 – Sutton United H
Sat 21 – Aldershot Town A
Tues 24 – AFC Fylde A
Sat 28 – Ebbsfleet United H
Sat 5 – Woking A
Tues 8 – Harrogate Town H
Sat 12 – Chesterfield H [Scottish Challenge Cup R4]
Sat 19 – Emirates FA Cup 4Q
Sat 26 – Dagenham & Redbridge A
Tues 29 – Torquay United A
Sat 2 – Bromley H
Sat 9 – Emirates FA Cup R1
Sat 16 – Eastleigh A [Scottish Challenge Cup QF]
Sat 23 – Yeovil Town H
Tues 26 – AFC Fylde H
Sat 30 – Ebbsfleet United A [Emirates FA Cup R2]
Sat 7 – Solihull Moors H
Sat 14 – Buildbase FA Trophy R1
Sat 21 – Sutton United A
Tues 26 – Chorley H
Sat 28 – Maidenhead United A
Wed 1 – Chorley A
Sat 4 – Aldershot Town H [Emirates FA Cup R3]
Sat 11 – Buildbase FA Trophy R2
Sat 18 – Woking H
Sat 25 – Harrogate Town A [Emirates FA Cup R4]
Sat 1 – Dagenham & Redbridge H
Sat 8 – Chesterfield A [Buildbase FA Trophy R3]
Sat 15 – Torquay United H [Scottish Challenge Cup SF]
Sat 22 – Bromley A
Sat 29 – Yeovil Town A [Buildbase FA Trophy R4]
Wed 4 – Emirates FA Cup R5
Sat 7 – Eastleigh H
Sat 14 – Barrow A
Sat 21 – Boreham Wood H [Emirates FA Cup QF/Buildbase FA Trophy SF1]
Sat 28 – FC Halifax Town A [FA Trophy SF2/Scottish Challenge Cup Final]
Sat 4 – Dover Athletic H
Fri 10 – Hartlepool United H
Mon 13 – Barnet A
Sat 18 – Notts County H [Emirates FA Cup SF]
Sat 25 – Stockport County A
Sun 17 – Buildbase FA Trophy Final
Sat 23 – Emirates FA Cup Final