Manny’s The Man For Wrexham Promotion Push

Wrexham defender Manny Smith returned to the starting line-up after injury. Pic: Getty Images.

Manny’s The Man For Wrexham Promotion Push

Manny Smith, Wrexham’s powerful and effective centre-back, is staying with the Dragons.

Football League club Walsall, who have former Wrexham boss Dean Keates in charge of their team, are a among a number clubs keen on Smith.

Manager Sam Ricketts is happy with his 20-man squad and Smith is a crucial player for Wrexham, who are intent on launching a promotion push.

“Manny isn’t going anywhere,” said manager Sam Ricketts. “I won’t be selling him.

“We are not looking to offload anybody because we are really happy with the group we have.”

Wrexham have started their Vanarama National League season with a win at Dover and a goalless home draw against AFC Fylde.

Goalkeeper Rob Lainton kept a clean sheet in both matches and their next test is against Boreham Wood at the Racecourse on Saturday (12.30pm).

Almost 6,000 spectators watched a fiercely contested match against Fylde in midweek and another healthy attendance is expected for the early kick-off against Wood.

“We need to make our stadium as difficult as possible for opposing teams,” says Ricketts.

“That starts with our fan-base. Their support, getting behind us and driving the team on for the whole game is crucial.

“Hopefully we can give them something to support and cheer but if things aren’t going quite according to plan, it is vitally important that they stay with us and back us if we are going to be successful.”

AFC Fylde held out under heavy pressure against Wrexham and the home team created a number of chances.

Mike Fondop headed over the bar from a James Jennings cross after 25 minutes, while Paul Rutherford did find the net just before the hour.

He nodded in when Jordan Maguire-Drew created the chance, but Rutherford was ruled offside.

Wrexham pressed hard and dominated possession. Luke Young’s long range shot flew just wide, while Shaun Pearson headed over from a corner.

Ricketts and his Wrexham team have earned four points from two games and a win against Hertfordshire club Boreham Wood at home would make it a solid start to the 2018-19 season.

Manager Luke Garrard and his Wood team have made an identical start to Wrexham, having won 1-0 against Dagenham before drawing 0-0 at Havant and Waterlooville.

Wrexham: Lainton, Roberts, Jennings, Smith M, Pearson, Summerfield (Carrington 69), Young, Fondop (Beavon 59), Rutherford, Maguire-Drew (Pyke 87), Wright. Subs: Dibble, Tharme.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Francis-Angol, Byrne, Tunnicliffe (Birch 14), Bond, Hardy (Toure 80), Croasdale, Rowe, Philliskirk, Cardle (Tasdemir 64), Burke. Subs: Griffiths, Hemmings.

Referee: Marc Edwards (Tyneside)

Attendance: 5,777

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