Despite witnessing a convincing 4-1 victory over AFC Telford United, Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell’s festive cheer was somewhat soured by his side’s inability to keep a clean-sheet. Two goals from Brett Ormerod and a strike each from Danny Wright and Nick Ruhston saw Wrexham run out comfortable winners after a commanding second-half display, but it was Telford’s consolation goal which dominated Morrell’s thoughts after the game.
‘I thought we were worthy winners today’, Morrell said. ‘It was a tight first-half, I thought the second goal was crucial and once we got that I thought we were good, but once again we concede another stupid goal. I’m asking my players if they’re bothered, if they want to keep clean sheets. It’s a lack of concentration. But I can’t take anything away from the performance on a pitch like that, they dug in and battled first-half, got the early goal.’
‘You have standards, and your defenders should have standards of keeping clean-sheets and not conceding. I’m frustrated for the players because it’s annoying, it makes it a lot easier up the other end if you keep clean-sheets.’
With Wrexham’s front three once again sharing the scoring load, Morrell was quick to praise the efforts of young Nick Rushton, who fired in his third goal of the season.
‘He’s lively in the box, he’s got great movement. You need a bit of luck on those (Rushton’s goal), it’s gone through a lot of bodies. Danny Wright’s finish was really good as well, on a pitch like that. It’s a great win, to bounce back, but there’s still a lot of work to do and today shows we’re better on the front foot.’
‘Some of the movement up top was really good today, especially with the full-backs pushing on – I thought Johnny Hunt had a really good game. We can score goals, we just have to be like that every week and keep creating chances for ourselves.’
Despite their thumping victory, Wrexham remain third in the Blue Square Premier table after wins for Newport and Grimsby. Morrell, however, maintains that he is unconcerned by the form of his promotion rivals.
‘We can’t do anything about that we can only look after ourselves. I can’t affect their results. What I can affect is my team here.’
A 2012-13 record attendance of 4,330 flocked to the Racecourse for this Boxing Day match, and Morrell was effusive in his praise of the wealth of home support.
‘They got right behind us, especially when we got in the lead and in the second half when we started playing some better stuff in the right areas. They were class, I’ve got no fault with them, they’re unbelievable fans. I’m sure they’ll stick with us right the way through. They’d still be here if we were third from bottom.’
Victory today marked the beginning of a hectic period of 4 games in 10 days, but Morrell believes his squad is well-equipped to deal with the rigours of the festive schedule.
‘There are a few weary legs and a few hardy bodies out there, but the majority are okay. Cieslewicz has got more of a dead bum than a pulled hamstring, I don’t think it’s overly serious.’
Wrexham were made to work hard for their victory by a Telford side scrapping for their lives near the foot of the table. Striker Danny Wright reflected on a difficult first-half, ‘It was a great win for us, especially after the disappointment at Grimsby. We had to dig deep and scrap at times, the weather didn’t help, but the result has shown we’ve done it. The early goal was massive, but after that we weren’t at our best on the ball. We just kept battling.’
‘The second-half was all about us, we kept the ball better and worked better in their half. It’s nice to get another goal but first and foremost you’ve got to win, the goals are a bonus. But the more the merrier and hopefully there’s a few more still to come.’
‘We’ve obviously scored a lot of goals, but we’ve not kept as many clean-sheets as we did last year. It’d be nice to be a little less open, but if we’re scoring goals as fluently as that then that’s brilliant.’
Wright’s clipped finish for Wrexham’s third goal took his tally for the season up to 7, but it was veteran striker Brett Oremerod who stole the plaudits with a two-goal man of the match performance.
‘Brett’s been working his socks off and everyone’s behind him. It’s fully deserved. We’re all pushing each other to get the best out of each other.’
Ahead of a clutch of big games in a matter of days, Wrexham will be hoping to reap the benefits of this competitive team ethic.
You can read Wrexham.com’s full match report of the game by clicking here.