When Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney invested in National league side Wrexham the added resources and media attention brought the club greater expectations. Big name signings, a vast social media following, and even a Disney+ documentary couldn’t see the Red Dragons return to the football league in the first full season under the duo’s stewardship.
Year two is proving to be just as nail biting as they and Notts County duke it out for the National League’s solitary automatic promotion spot. The East Midlands outfit currently sit a point behind Wrexham, having played a game more, with neither side showing signs of letting up on what could be a historic points total.
Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson could be forgiven for feeling the weight of expectation. But ahead of his side’s vital win over fifth-placed Chesterfield, the former Sunderland boss dispelled any notion of pressure within the camp and urged his players to embrace the challenge ahead of them.
“I say to all our players and staff we’ve signed up to this so enjoy it and we do because it’s amazing to be part of it,” the 55-year-old said. “We don’t moan about expectation, we rise to it and go above it, and we’ll continue to do that until the end of the season. It’s all about finding solutions on the pitch.”
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Wrexham’s 2-1 victory over the Spireites, courtesy of first half strikes from Elliot Lee and Sam Dalby, saw them climb to the National League summit and ensured they are the masters of their own destiny heading into the business end of the year. Still, the side’s schedule is unrelenting and will see Parkinson’s men rack up a staggering eight games in the month of February alone.
Before a similarly demanding stretch to finish off the campaign. But the Wrexham boss, appointed ahead of the 2021/22 season, remains adamant his players are taking the challenge in stride.
“It’s just about mentally and physically preparing yourself, switching off with your family, but then coming back to the training ground to work for the short period and making sure we have a real focus about us.”
Next up for the Red Dragons is a clash at Maidenhead United on Saturday tea time ahead of what could be a winner-takes-all clash at home against Notts County on April 10.