Wrexham Will Find It Tougher For Next Hollywood Ending

WREXHAM, WALES - APRIL 13: Phil Parkinson, Manager of Wrexham, celebrates victory and promotion into League One following the Sky Bet League Two match between Wrexham and Forest Green Rovers at Racecourse Ground on April 13, 2024 in Wrexham, Wales. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images) (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Wrexham Will Find It Tougher For Next Hollywood Ending

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By Graham Thomas

Wrexham may have promotion in the bag but manager Phil Parkinson has a clear warning for any of their new global fanbase who think every season from now on will have a Hollywood ending.

The “Welcome to Wrexham” documentary series has mushroomed fan groups of the Reds in the most unlikely dark corners of the football universe.

Many of them view the club through the editing skills of the production company run by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, but Parkinson knows football rarely runs to script.

In fact, although Wrexham are 6/5 favourites with DragonBet to win their penultimate game of the season at Crewe on Saturday, Parkinson reckons next season will be far tougher than this season, or the last.

“The jump from League Two to League One is a bigger leap than the one from the National League to League Two, I think anyone in football would say that,” he says.

“The game is quicker and more athletic in League One.

“We’ve got to make sure we have a squad that is really strong and can cope with what will be a big season for the football club.”

Having said that, there is likely to be a summer of fresh recruitment for Wrexham to firm up the greedy ambitions their success has spawned and the target will be a third successive promotion into the Championship.

Wrexham have been in the second tier before, but they have never finished higher than 15th at that level.

“We have progressed quickly,” adds Parkinson. “But I said last year when we won promotion (from the National League) that there’s a lot more chapters to be written. I firmly believe that’s still the case now.”

As Wrexham attempt to finish runners-up in League Two behind the crowned champions Stockport County, there are more modest targets for the other Welsh clubs in the EFL this weekend.

Wrexham’s fellow League Two travellers Newport County are simply trying to stop the rot after six straight defeats.

That’s a run that killed any hopes of making the play-offs and has left County down in 16th place.

DragonBet have Newport at 21/10 underdogs to beat Salford City and end their losing sequence on Saturday.

For Swansea City, the ambition of making the Championship play-offs disappeared long ago and the past few weeks were more about pulling away from the relegation zone.

The Swans are all but safe – only a freak set of results could drop them into the bottom three with three games to go – and head coach Luke Williams is looking towards the future.

Williams is going to lose his loan contingent this summer and there are others at the club – notably Joe Allen, Kyle Naughton, Liam Cullen and Jamie Paterson – who are out of contract.

“We have all but ticked off the first big hurdle, which was to maintain the league status,” says Williams.

“Now we have a bit of a rebuild. We have got a lot of work to do and we have to get a lot of things correct to make sure we are in a good position. That’s the task in front of us.”

Only six points separate Swansea from Cardiff City and that gap could close further if the Swans can win away at Huddersfield Town and the Bluebirds drop points at home to promotion-seeking Southampton.

The Swans are 9/4 underdogs to win at Huddersfield, with the draw priced at 5/2.

As for Cardiff City, it is the future of manager Erol Bulut that is most at stake over their final three games.

The Bluebirds boss is also out of contract and no detailed talks have taken place over extending his time at the club.

After four defeats in their last six games, Bulut is getting tetchy when asked about his future, including links with Turkish club Besiktas.

“I don’t want to speak about this,” he said. “I read many things. But I don’t want to give any message to any news about other clubs. I am focussed on my the club here, Cardiff City, and what comes after that we will see.”

Cardiff are 11th in the table and as well as staying ahead of the Swans, the other feather that might flutter in Bulut’s cap is if he managed a top 10 Championship finish.

At the moment, there is a four-point gap between Cardiff and Preston, who are in 10th.

DragonBet make Cardiff big outsiders to beat Southampton on Saturday at 6/1, with the Saints at 2/5 and the draw at 15/4.

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