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Wrexham v Chesterfield: National League Preview

Wrexham have already won the media and profile battle hands down, but on Tuesday night they can overtake Notts County where it matters most – out on the pitch.

Forget – for a moment – the Dragons’ celebrity Hollywood ownership, their plans for a summer tour of the USA, their rapidly increasing income from streaming and sponsorship, and the announcement of gigs at The Racecourse in May by rock band Kings of Leon.

It’s the football that could make the headlines for once if they beat Chesterfield at home to go above County and top of the National League.

After the long-time league leaders suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat to managerless Dagenham and Redbridge at the weekend, Wrexham’s moment of truth has arrived.

They kept their own show on the road with a 3-1 win over Dorking at The Racecourse on Saturday and now they can reach the summit if they can beat Chesterfield.

It won’t be easy, though, The Spireites are in fifth place themselves and were the in-form team in the autumn – and very much in the promotion hunt themselves – when they won six matches on the trot and nine out of 11.

Things have stalled since then, though. Chesterfield’s recent record shows no wins in eight games, although three out of the last four of those were draws.

Wrexham have not lost in the league since October 4 and they have won every home league game they have played bar one – a recent stumble when they drew 2-2 with Woking.

Earn victory on Tuesday and they will go one point above Notts County, still with a game in hand, and a dozen matches still to play.

But of the two defeats Wrexham have suffered all season, one was at Chesterfield back in August when Paul Cook – former manager of Wigan – inspired his team to a convincing 2-0 win.

Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson is trying hard to convince anyone who will listen that his team need to concentrate on their own job in hand and not get wrapped up too much in the head-to-head battle with Notts County.

That’s easier said than done when the clubs are currently 19-points clear of third-place Woking.

But Parkinson insists: “We have just got to win our games and concentrate on what we have got to do.

“If Notts County are losing 3-0 or winning 3-0, it doesn’t affect anything we do at all from the bench.

“We can’t do anything about that, we have just got to concentrate on winning ourselves.”

Wrexham will be firm odds-on favourites, a rightful status based on recent form, but Notts County’s shock weekend defeat proves that pressure can get to those under intense scrutiny.

That is something Parkinson is aware of and he has urged his players to embrace the attention and make the most of their favourites’ tag.

“It’s great at the moment, getting up to the buzz of another home game, we’ll prepare and get this place bouncing again on Tuesday,” Parkinson added.

“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.

“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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