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Wrexham v Southend: Weekend Preview

Another weekend, another game for Wrexham, and another chance to cruise nearer towards a return to the Football League.

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

After all, not only are the National League leaders four points clear of Notts County at the top of the table, but they haven’t lost a league match since October 4.

The visit of Southend – who are back in eighth place and have lost back-to-back matches – can’t hold too many terrors, surely?

Except that, if there’s one club who have arguably shown as much defiance and spirit this season, then it must be Southend.

The Inland Revenue are trying to wind-up the Essex club, their players haven’t been paid, they are around £5m in debt, and they can’t even afford to pay St John Ambulance to provide care at their matches.

But somehow, Southend are on the cusp of the play-offs – a remarkable achievement which has not gone unnoticed by Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson.

“We have to concentrate on ourselves and maintain the standards we have set for ourselves, because if we drop below those then other teams will be encouraged,” said Parkinson.

“What a game to look forward to on Saturday, I can’t wait. The lads were pleased with their work on Tuesday but their feet are firmly on the floor. There is so much work to be done, starting with Saturday.”

Amid all the chaos around them, Southend have somehow managed to win five of their last eight league games.

Manager Kevin Maher said: “I can’t talk highly enough of the players, how they’ve been and how they approached the games.

“It has been difficult circumstances.”

It promises to be another bumper crowd for Wrexham. Not since 1979, in fact, has the Racecourse Ground hosted as many consecutive league fixtures with a 9,000-plus attendance as the past 12 months.

Notts County dropped two points at Bromley in their last game and know they must win at home to Dorking to keep up the pressure on Wrexham.

County have collected just one point from their previous two games as they have slipped to second.

Wrexham cruised to a comfortable 4-0 away win at Dagenham & Redbridge to move four points clear in midweek.

Wrexham and Notts County could well both win again which would only intensify the focus on their showdown at the Racecourse Ground which is scheduled for Monday, April 10.

Both clubs have 10 matches left to play in what is shaping up to be the best head-to-head shoot-out across the top five divisions.

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