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Tuesday, 01 January 2008 00:00

Little needs players who are ready

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Little needs players who are ready to battle

WREXHAM manager Brian Little is ready for a month of wheeling and dealing that he believes will decide the clubs Football League fate.

But the Dragons boss heads into the New Year with optimism and a determination to lead the Racecourse club away from the bottom of the League Two ladder “ even if it means a second successive escape from relegation on the final day of the season.

Before the transfer window re-opened today, Little had made the decision to release former Wales under-21 midfielder Matty Crowell, whose short-term contract came to an end yesterday, and the manager admitted there could be other departures in the coming weeks as he bids to reshape the squad he inherited from former boss Brian Carey.

Matty has been unlucky but the situation and the circumstances dictate that Ive got to try and change things around, said Little yesterday.

I will need every penny I can get and Matty is out of contract at the wrong time.

I wish him well because he has worked hard to impress and I tried to give him a chance in a game. Unfortunately, as we know, it did not work out for him and so he is leaving us today.

The Dragons boss would not be drawn on possible transfer targets, but confirmed they would be players capable of complementing a 3-5-2 formation.

We looked more solid on Saturday going back to three central defenders, he said. We will be looking at that more in the future and so Im trying to bring in people who can give us a bit more in certain other areas.

We need to be competitive in games, which has not been the case in some since Ive been here, so thats an important consideration. We will also need people who are up for the challenge of a relegation battle.

After tomorrow the statistics will be there for all to see and we will have a definite points target to aim for in the second half of the season. This is now my time and I know what I want to achieve.

With the opening of the transfer window I have an opportunity to affect the group (of players) a bit more. I have targets in mind, but how and when we can attract them here remains to be seen.

We have had conversations with other clubs about players and we have been asked about some of those who are here now.

And if I have to lose someone in order to bring another one in, that may well be the case.

He added: Its a big period coming up for the club and a very important time for me and the people here. I have to be brave and make decisions that will please some people and upset others.

But if those decisions mean we get where we want to be and we achieve what we have set out to do, then it will all have been worthwhile.

Looking ahead to this afternoons match with high-flying Chesterfield at Saltergate, Little confirmed that captain Richard Hope would again be missing after a long-standing ankle injury flared up again on Friday and forced him to miss the 1-0 home defeat by Stockport County.

He has been playing with pain in recent weeks and that was beginning to affect his performance, Little said.

He needs to rest the ankle, and weve got a small break coming up which will help in that respect, but there is no indication that its anything more serious. Mike Williams deputised on Saturday and did okay because he looked relaxed and confident.

Midfielder Sam Aiston, who is set to become Littles first permanent signing following his loan spell at the Racecourse, said he was looking forward to todays game.

Its going to be tough, but we can say the same for every game between now and the end of the season, said Aiston. We have nothing to lose because no-one expects us to get anything from the game, so well see what we can do.

We played pretty well against Stockport and deserved something from the game, but no matter how many positives we took from the game, its points that count.

We have to get cracking in the second half of the season and there is still a long way to go. There is a good group of lads here and its a case of getting the best out of them. The sooner
we start doing that the better it will be.

John Mills