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The Welsh Four: Weekend Football Preview

Wrexham are just 90 minutes away from ending 15 years of pain.

A victory over Boreham Wood on Saturday evening and the prize will be in their grasp – a return to the Football League they dropped out of in 2008.

It has been a titanic struggle between the Dragons and their National League title rivals Notts County all season, better than anything any of the four leagues above them could muster.

But Wrexham have eked out a decisive four-point lead with just two games to go.

Notts County can trim the lead to just a point if they win at Maidstone United in their 3.00pm kick-off. But if Wrexham beat Boreham Wood, the advantage will be back to four points, there will be just one round of matches to play, and so the title – and the one automatic promotion place – will be confirmed.

For manager Phil Parkinson, the key thing has been preparation for every game and the ability of his players to handle the pressure every week.

He has built a squad not just of talented players, he says, but of people who could get the job done. Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have delivered the money and the profile, but they are up in the directors’ box during matches and it’s the players on the pitch who have done the business.

“It goes back to recruitment, bringing in players who would embrace that,” says Parkinson.

“We’re a very unusual National League club with an incredible spotlight on every single game.

“They’ve coped with it really well,” Parkinson says of his players. “In fact, they’ve enjoyed it.”

As the attention has grown, so has the expectation, but captain Ben Tozer agrees with his manager that coping with the spotlight has perhaps been their biggest achievement.

“To some people on the outside it might seem like a bit of a circus but we’re so used to it now,” says Tozer.

“Even with the cameras being around daily, I’ve even become really comfortable with it. I didn’t really like it to start with but it’s just become normal.”

But there is still the possibility of a final twist. Boreham Wood are not mid-table and thinking of heading to the beach.

They are in the play-off positions and need a result to ensure they stay there. A hard-earned draw by the visitors, plus a Notts County win, and it will all go to the last game.

Cardiff City are also hoping their fate can be decided without needing to go to the wire.

They are at home to Stoke City on Saturday, with their fortunes transformed by a shock 3-1 win at Watford in midweek.

The Bluebirds are two points clear of the bottom three in the Championship with four games to play. Had they lost at Watford, they would have been in the relegation zone.

Those four games, though, are crammed into 16 days and if Reading were to win at Coventry City, and Cardiff slip up, then the picture could change again.

Stoke have not won in four games and Bluebirds boss Sabri Lamouchi says: “The win at Watford sent a message that Cardiff is still there, still alive, and the desire to play in the Championship next season is still in my squad.

“We must absolutely keep going, be pragmatic and get points, get points, get points. We must achieve our goal as soon as possible.”

Swansea City still have a very remote chance of reaching the Championship play-offs, but will fancy their chances of continuing their excellent recent form.

The Swans visit Norwich City having won five and drawn one of their last six games.

Norwich have not won in three and were hammered 5-1 by Middlesbrough last weekend.

Newport County have been up and down in recent weeks, but the downs are not sufficient to be going down from League Two.

They are away at Doncaster Rovers, who are mid-table but in freefall after six defeats and two draws in their last eight matches.

County are 18th in the table but are ranked ninth in League Two for points per game since manager Graham Coughlan took the reins.

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