Match Preview Q&A – Aled Roberts on Wrexham FC

“I am confident that we won’t lose to Torquay on Saturday and think we will win 2-0”

The opposition interview series continues, with Aled Roberts discussing his Red Dragons from Wrexham:

Wrexham_FC_Logo

Hi Aled nice to speak to you again. so how would you summarise Wrexham’s season up to this point?

In this order: Optimistic, confident, confused, frustrated, worried, hopeful
Optimistic – Signed some decent players considering what their record was the previous season. Also not a massive overhaul of players like we have done previously but strengthened. So I thought we would get promotion.
Confident – Decent pre-season, also beating Barrow in the first game of the season..really thought it was happening.
Confused – Went away to Boreham Wood, 2-0 lead then drawn the game 2-2 and that continued for over a month, would get the odd win but were horrendous away from home. Just could not understand it.
Frustrated – Considering that we didn’t make massive squad changes but instead added to a team that had made the play-offs the previous season, it was really annoying that we were not doing well and performances were below what I expected.
Worried – Because we weren’t performing well and were sliding slowly down the table, and I couldn’t see where our next win would come from.
Hopeful – With the new manager coming in (which numerous fans were calling for), wins started to become a more regular occurence. Performances in games improved with also quality players coming through the transfer window. Definitely giving hope that we will escape the drop to VNL North.

The team’s form has improved since we last met, what are the main factors behind that?

I cannot pinpoint for certain what is the main reason, but there are many from what I have seen, and we are doing the basics right. Brought in a manager who is a defensive manager but sets up the team to be hard to beat (even though our previous game against Chesterfield says otherwise). We have hardly conceded many in a game, only conceding 5 goals in our last 5 games, 3 of those games we had clean sheets.

What have been your highlights of the season so far?

Not many to cheer about but there have been a few. Away at Harrogate and ending their 6 game unbeaten run. That was also our first domestic win on a 3G surface. Trip up to Scotland for the Tunnocks Caramel Waffer Scottish Challenge Cup game against Rangers Colts at Ibrox was amazing. Also an away pre-season friendly against Portimonense. Not forgetting each month (if not definitely most of them) we have won goal of the month. We have scored some stunning goals, with ex-Gull Luke Young featuring amongst those.
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Wrexham at Ibrox

Are you confident of avoiding a relegation scrap?

Well not sure if I am either confident or just hoping that we will. Not completely sure, but definitely more positive that it is possible now than what I was at the start of December. Personally I worry that it will drag to close to the end of the season, but hopefully I am wrong. From what I heard from Stockport County staff, the Vanarama North is worse so don’t want to experience that. If we have more games like Harrogate away we will stay up, but if most of our games are like Aldershot at home then I would be worried.

Who are your key players and why?

Would definitely look out for Ponticelli – he pressurises the opposition defence hoping for mistakes and also has a decent strike on him and could have had 2 goals but only got one. Lainton is good goalkeeper, he’s definitely kept us in games and made amazing saves. But the real outstanding player is Jarvis. He has outstanding skill, he is quick, agile can quite easily get out of trouble. The negative about him is not based on his ability but his age. He is young so will try things, when maybe at times the easier option could have been the better one. Also we’ve had the return of an ex-red in Jay Harris. He is work horse, but not a quick player. He has an eye for a pass and will take a shot at goal from a distance.

Tell us about the gaffer and what tactics does he employ?

Like I said in my answer for the 2nd question, he is a defensive manager who makes his teams hard to beat. We can soak up pressure and then have some quick players such as  Jarvis who are dangerous on the counter attack.

Describe the Racecourse Ground for those that haven’t visited before?

The away end is found in the Yale Stand which is in the same stand as the club shop. Car parking can be found in the Glyndŵr University car park, also the Maesgwyn pub has some car parking spaces. Most places in Wrexham are for both home and away fans, only time this was different was when Stockport were in town.
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Home versus Solihull Moors

Where’s best for yellow army to enjoy pre-match food and drinks?

There is a club bar in the Yale Stand called the ‘Centenary’ – they welcome home and away fans and you can get something to eat there as well such as a pie. But there is also a Wetherspoons in town which is about 15 minute walk from the ground. Also if you don’t want to walk there is a burger van on the main road (Mold Road) which is by the Turf hotel. If you want fast food there is a few by the Wetherspoons mentioned, like McDonalds, Subway, Pappa Johns and also a chippy. There is also a pub called the Fat Boar in Wrexham and you can get an amazing pint there. They also do a Bootlegger pilsner.

The Red Dragons are owned by the fans; how many people are part of the trust, what are the costs to join and how well does it work?

We get to vote on who we want to appoint on the board. To be a member we have to donate to the club a minimum of £1 or more. It started well but even though those in charge have done amazing job at Wrexham, we haven’t improved in the past few seasons as a club and I think some new faces who see things from a different perspective would be good for the club to move forward.

Were there any additions to the squad in January?

We brought in about 4/5 additional players. Most notably Jarvis from Stoke and Ponticelli from Coventry, who were brought in during the January transfer window.

We narrowly beat you at Plainmoor but have struggled in recent months, what is your prediction for Saturday afternoon?

You may remember that I predicted that we were going to lose 3-0, but I feel more optimistic this time considering how we have performed recently. I am confident that we won’t lose when we meet Torquay on Saturday. I think we will win 2-0, with us taking the lead in the first half. In the second you will have most of the chances with us scoring the second close to the end of the game.

Cheers Aled

LAST TIME OUT

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