We didn’t do enough to earn win says Wrexham FC manager Dean Saunders

WREXHAM manager Dean Saunders admitted his players did not do enough to open the New Year with a victory over bottom club Altrincham on Saturday, instead having to settle for a point from the 0-0 stalemate at Moss Lane.

The Dragons boss claimed the three-week suspension of football due to the wintry weather had taken its toll on the team, particularly in terms of sharpness and made it clear he expects a better performance in today’s Racecourse clash with Bath City (3pm), even though they will be missing central defender Marvin Andrews, who picked up a hamstring injury in the closing stages.

“It was a bit frustrating for us because they (Altrincham) made it hard for us,” he said.

“I thought we looked a bit rusty and that the final pass wasn’t right today, whether it was a cross or a finish on goal. We got so many balls across the face of the goal today, but never got on the end of anything.

“But for the past five or six weeks four of the players have only trained on grass twice and it showed out there. A few of them were breathing a bit heavily and when I was picking the team I didn’t really know how we were going to go today.

“I was hoping we would come out of the traps and look sharp, but we could have done with a game and we’ll probably be better for that.

“We didn’t take the chances we had. We had enough in the first half and we got behind them down the right hand side on three or four occasions. Marvin (Andrews) has headed one over the crossbar and Andy Morrell’s had one that dropped at his feet but the sharpness was just missing for us a little bit.

“Then Marvin pulled his hamstring, which is the biggest blow of all. I don’t know how long that is going to be, but we have to pick ourselves up again. It’s another game undefeated and, although I know we need to get three points from games like this, we were away from home they are fighting for their lives and they made it hard for us.

“So we have to go into the game on Monday and try to win that one.

“Bath are just behind us in the league, probably three or four points. They’ve had a good run, they have got good spirit about them, but we’ll be better for this game and hopefully we’ll get a reaction on Monday.”

Paying tribute to Altrincham, whose performance belied their lowly league status, Saunders added: “We shouldn’t take anyone lightly and, fair play to them, I thought they battled well. And when they broke away I thought we might concede a goal because we had so many forward. But I was more concerned with winning the game so I kept telling them to go forward.

“We have just got to keep picking up points and staying in the race. It feels like a defeat today, but it’s a point away from home. Although the opposition are bottom of the league, us not playing for four or five weeks has not helped us.”

But the Dragons boss claimed the home side had also enjoyed some good fortune.

“I thought there were two definite penalties – Marc Williams was definitely pushed in the back and I thought there was a handball as well,” he said.

“But you get used to them not being given. There are no complaints because the referee has not really decided the game. He hasn’t given something stupid, Altrincham battled well and we weren’t sharp enough.”