DEAN KEATES believes his players are starting to realise opponents will come to The Racecourse and try to frustrate Wrexham this season.
Wrexham were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Guiseley on Saturday, the third successive stalemate extending the Reds’ unbeaten run to three games.
Guiseley took a first half lead but the Lions’ timewasting tactics came back to haunt them as Sam Wedgbury equalised deep into added time.
Wrexham created very little despite improving in the second period and Keates wants his side to be on the front foot from the start at home.
“The lads will realise the last few games, especially at home, it is a great stadium and big turn-outs,” said Keates.
“Even when I played and used to come here, the first thing that you do is you kill the game.
“You kill the atmosphere and you affect the fans first and foremost by killing it on the pitch. The fans get frustrated and it affects things on the pitch.
“That’s what was told to me when I was playing and even when I signed here as a player, you saw that happening all the time.
“No disrespect to lesser teams, they are not used to playing in front of attendances like we have and an arena that we have got, they raise their game 20, 30, 40 per cent easily to what they normally are.
“That is something the lads have realised now and something that we can control; we need to be bang at it from the first minute.”
Keates admits an early Wrexham goal can change the way opponents approach games at The Racecourse.
“It is not a coincidence that we have not conceded a goal in the second half because we have been on the front foot,” said Keates,
“In second halves, we have been the team that has been pushing on but we need to make that happen from the first whistle.
“If you get an early goal, they have to come out and do something about it rather than sit with two banks of four and just try and kill the game.”
Keates was delighted that his players dug in and managed to grab a late equaliser, leaving ninth placed Wrexham just two points behind leaders Aldershot Town.
“We were unlucky, a great move in the first half and Chris Holroyd got a touch on it and took it away from Scott Boden at the back post,” said Keates.
“We needed a goal early on. You know what Paul Cox’s teams are about, how they manage the game and how they kill the game.
“That affected us, the tempo and the intensity. We told them that we need to be bang on it in the first half and it wasn’t.
“The lads kept going and showed great character, and we got the minimum point out of it that we deserved.”
Goalkeeper Luke Coddington, brought in for a second loan spell, started against Guiseley on Saturday.
Coddington and Callum Preston, at The Racecourse on non-contract terms, have been signed as cover for injured duo Chris Dunn and Christian Dibble.
Dibble required surgery because of an ingrowing hair while Dunn suffered a recurrence of a thigh injury.
“Chris had a niggle, it settled down and he joined back in but 45 minutes into training he broke down again,” said Keates.
“He has had a scan so we will know more in the next few days.
“The circumstances with how it has happened to Christian is entirely out of control and we have could have ended up with another Jordan White episode if it wasn’t acted upon straight away.”
Keates rued Wrexham’s luck with injuries to goalkeepers.
“We had it last season when Chris and Shwan Jalal both got injured in the North Ferriby game,” added Keates.
“We just seem to have a bit of bad luck with goalkeepers so we have got Luke in.”