Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell heaped praise on his Wrexham side as they came away resounding 4-1 winners over embattled Ebbsfleet United at the Racecourse on Tuesday night. First-half goals from Dele Adebola, Brett Ormerod, Kevin Thornton and Rob Ogleby confirmed The Dragons’ dominance, and has seen Wrexham open up a three point lead at the top of the Blue Square Premier.
“I thought we were good, really good,” said Morrell. “First half I thought we played some good stuff. It obviously helps getting an early goal, we did that on Saturday but we didn’t continue with the same tempo that we did.”
“The pitch is exactly the same but we got a bit of water on it before the start, and you can tell by the tempo that we play at when we get it and move it that we’re a handful. It was enjoyable to watch the first half.”
Wrexham’s display in that first 45 minutes was their most impressive of the season as they relentlessly pummeled the Ebbsfleet defence, which drew rich reward with the clinical nature in which the home side took their chances.
“We took the goals really well, and then in the second half it’s harder to say ‘go again’ when you’re already 4-0 up,” conceded Morrell.
“We created chances but we weren’t as clinical in the second half as we were in the first, and I’ve just said that if you get chances you’ve got to take them as that might be the only one you get in a game. There are a couple of things to work on, I’m disappointed with the (Ebbsfleet) goal, obviously, but overall I think it was fairly convincing.”
Dele Adebola scored the first goal of the game after just three minutes, and proved to be a cut above the opposition eleven throughout his short cameo.
“He’s a handful. He’s a big boy and when he gets going and he pins you on the edge of that box and you can roll things into him, he’s got great ability and he’s done it throughout his career. That’s what I hoped he’d bring to us, something different that we haven’t got and he certainly did that today. When he gets going he picks up a bit of pace and he’s difficult to stop.”
“You saw a little bit between him and Kev (Thornton), you can tell they’ve played together a little before, because they fire it in and follow it in. I’m really pleased with both of them.”
Adebola’s contribution was restricted to a mere half-hour, albeit one that ushered Wrexham into an unassailable 3-0 lead and Morrell played down any serious injuries concerns that prompted his withdrawal for Rob Ogleby.
“It was just a bit of a back spasm really. He’s not played for eight weeks before this so he’s just getting back to into it.”
I’ve told him this league’s relentless, it just keeps coming back at you, so he just needs to make sure his does his bits and bobs off the pitch to make sure he’s right for the games. Fortunately, we were in a position to get him off straight away and hopefully he’s not done too much damage.”
The player-manager heaped further praise on Kevin Thornton, who notched his third strike in three games and is proving an indispensable tool in Wrexham’s quest for the Conference title.
“He’s a good player, this is how I remember him when I was at Coventry,” revealed Morrell.
“He’s had a few issues but he’s got himself really fit, I think he’s about five kilos down from when he came in pre-season and he’s had some games and done well for us. He’s had to be patient but I think you can see what he brings to us, his guile and creativity in the final third is brilliant and I think he’s got a huge part to play in our run in.”
With victory almost guaranteed by half-time, Morrell was afforded the luxury of resting key players for the remaining fixtures, with two stalwarts of recent weeks, Danny Wright and Dean Keates, making way in the second half.
“Danny Wright’s played a hell of a lot of games recently, he wanted to stay in because he thought there were goals about but we’ve got to think of the bigger picture. So Dele, Dan and Keatesy came off. They’re important, key people for us and it’s all about keeping them as fresh as we can with the amount of games that we’ve got and hopefully we’ve been able to do that tonight.”
Wrexham’s next game sees them travel down to Kent for a Friday night fixture with mid-table Dartford. After sarcastically acknowledging the comfortable rest that the fixture list has granted his side, Morrell believes that new man Adebola will be fit and available for selection.
“We’ve got two days before the next game, which is a great break. We can rest up and go again Friday. I’ve been in this too long to pick a team already for Friday because things crop up on you; injuries, illness, everything. I’ll leave it ‘til about two minutes before I have to think.”
“I’m hoping Dele will be fit. We’re going to try and do it as professionally as we can, we’re looking at going down the night before because it’s one of our budgeted stop overs, so if we can do that then Dele might be fit.”
As the clock ticks down to the end of the season, and each fixture gains added significance, Morrell insists that he is more and more focused on his own side’s fortunes, after Newport and Grimsby emerged with vital away victories.
“We can’t do anything about that, all we have to do is win our games and as frustrating as it was at the weekend that we didn’t take our opportunity at home, we can only just look after themselves. I think I would have taken 4 wins and a draw out of the last 5 games, probably.”
With Grimsby grabbing a late victory over Forest Green, the race for promotion appears to between the top five, who are separated by just six points. But, citing Luton’s run in last year, Morrell believes much can change between now and April 20th.
“You probably said that last year about Luton, and they came flying up on the rails and pipped in on the last day. I think Forest Green have got a big part to play in this run in, and there’s probably a couple of other teams that’ll go on a little run at the end and cause a few problems, so I don’t think it’s done and dusted.
“I think it’s going to be very stressful through to the end of the season, but we’re going to enjoy it because we’re there to be shot at at the minute and as long as we keep doing what we’re doing then we’ve got half a chance.”