Wrexham AFC manager Dean Keates still on striker search

Reporter:

Rich Williams

DEAN KEATES reveals he has the funds to add to his Wrexham squad with a striker top of the shopping list.

Missed opportunities again proved costly as Wrexham were held to a goalless draw at Halifax Town on Tuesday.

Although it extended the unbeaten run to nine games, five of the last six have ended in draws and Wrexham are the third lowest scorers in the division with 11 goals from 14 outings.

Keates has four strikers – Chris Holroyd, Ntumba Massanka, Scott Boden and Alex Reid – at his disposal and he is keen to bolster his attacking options with on-loan Reid due to return to Fleetwood Town in the middle of November.

The ‘Build The Budget’ initiative has raised extra funds towards the first team playing budget and Keates says money is still available.

“The funding is there,” said Keates. “We have got four centre-forwards, I wanted four. We have got Alex until November, we are actively looking and there are possibilities.

“It is just a case of going out and watching football matches. Between myself, Andy Davies and Carl Darlington, we are out constantly throughout the week taking in games and actively looking, seeing if we can get a ready-made replacement when Alex leaves us.”

A loan signing appears to be the most likely addition to the squad in the short term, although Keates has challenged his current strikers to start finding the back of the net.

“As it stands at the moment, it would only be a loan until the January window,” said Keates.

“The rules state we can’t take any Premier League players because they have to go window to window.

“We are out looking but the lads in the building at the moment, the opportunity is there to go and stake their claim, and take the opportunities when they are created on the pitch.”

Although he would like a replacement when Wall leaves next month, Keates, who has been linked with a number of strikers including Tranmere’s Andy Cook and Lincoln City’s Matty Rhead, has hinted that a striker could be arriving, possibly on a permanent basis, when the January window opens.

“We are always speaking to people regarding January,” said Keates.

“Something could possibly happen in January but nothing is done until it is actively done.

“It is all ifs and buts at the moment but we will keep going and keep preparing with what we have got.”

Keates was disappointed Wrexham failed to take any of the chances they created at Halifax, the stalemate leaving the sixth placed Reds just three points behind new leaders Macclesfield Town going into Saturday’s home game against Eastleigh.

“It is frustrating but we are not losing games,” said Keates. “We need to find a goal or two from somewhere. It looked like we were lacking a bit of belief in front of goal. 

“A few times people were not taking on the opportunity to take a shot, they have gone for the easier option and tried to slide somebody in and it has not worked for us.

“It is something we will work on and all being well it can fall into place for the game at the weekend.

“You can’t question the hard work. The fans that came on Tuesday would have been happy with the performance that the lads put in.

“We were comfortable for long periods of the game, in the last 10 minutes when the game became a bit stretched they had one or two breaks themselves. We had opportunities but we didn’t take them.”

Wrexham, on the other hand, boast the best defensive record in the division after conceding just seven goals in the opening 14 games.

There have been eight clean sheets in that time, a record Keates can be happy with.

“We look comfortable at the back, there is a good structure to us and we look organised,” added Keates.

“But obviously we didn’t take the chances we created.

“We have kept a clean sheet and all being well we will get three points at the weekend.”

Email:

rich.williams@nwn.co.uk

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