With nearly a third of the season gone, Sam Ricketts admits Wrexham have exceeded his own expectations but feels the Dragons have set themselves standards they must continue to attain.

Wrexham head to Dagenham & Redbridge sitting in fourth place in the National League standings, just two points adrift of leaders Salford City.

The Dragons are averaging more than two points a game and have not been lower than fourth in the standings since the fourth game of the campaign.

Ricketts, who took over in the summer and assembled a new squad of players, has been delighted by the start to the season of his charges, but insists no-one is getting carried away and admits there is still a lot more to come.

“To be realistic you’d have to say above (expectations),” said Ricketts. “If someone had said after 15 games we’d be more than two points a game you’d have snatched their hands off.

“I am delighted but we have got things we can work on still. But from that perspective we are probably ahead of where I thought we possibly might be.

“But that doesn’t mean to say I am going to rest on any laurels, I want to use that now, that is good, but now we can go again.

“We’ve set certain benchmarks, we’ve shown in odd games, like Ebbsfleet (a 4-1 win) where we potentially can be, but we want surpass that as well, we need to try and maintain that as much as we can.

“The team works incredibly hard, we’ve shown different sides of our game. We can play, we can fight, we can dig in when we need to. At times we have looked easy on the eye and other times less so, but the players have been excellent, they deserve to be where they are, just wanting more from them.”

Wrexham AFC's Rekeil Pyke celebrates the only goal of the game in the first half against Havant & Waterlooville. Photo by Ian Cooper
Wrexham AFC’s Rekeil Pyke celebrates the only goal of the game in the first half against Havant & Waterlooville. Photo by Ian Cooper
(Image: Ian Cooper/North Wales Daily Post)

Ricketts continued: “Its funny how leagues go, if we were three points (worse) off I’d still be saying that is a really good start but you’d be down the table a bit and it wouldn’t look as good.

“It just show you it is a really open league. Normally back-to-back wins opens up a little bit, but we have to keep winning to maintain our pace really and you can’t really worry about anyone else. If we can maintain our standards and improve them and ideally it brings in more wins. Can everyone do that? I don’t know, time will tell.”

Wrexham maintained their excellent start to the season with a 1-0 win over Havant & Waterlooville on the weekend , a result which would have been vastly improved but for a catalogue of saves from Hawks goalkeeper Ben Dudzinski.

Jordan Maguire-Drew and Rekeil Pyke were both denied by stunning saves, the latter eventually breaking the deadlock with curling effort from the edge of the box on the half hour mark.

The Dragons head to Victoria Road on Saturday to face another side in the bottom four, the Daggers one place and two points worse off than the Hawks in the standings.

And Ricketts insists there will be no let up in their standards.

He added: “It is another opportunity for us, we are confident going into every game, but also realistic to know that we have to be hit ing our high standards for that to happen.

“You need to get the second and third goals to kill games off, we couldn’t do that on Saturday, we are due a little influx of goals I’d like to think, if that can happen on Saturday then even better.”

Ricketts will have striker Mike Fondop back in contention after the striker served a one match ban after picking up a fifth booking in the win over Barnet.

But the Dragons boss is monitoring the fitness of left-back James Jennings and forward Chris Holroyd .

“With Jenno and Chrissy it is just judging them day by day really,” said the Dragons boss. “We are in a really fortunate position where we don’t have to rush them or force them into playing when they might not be quite right.

“We don’t want any kind of recurrence, I’d rather they miss one game than the next three or four, so we will take them day-by-day.”

On Fondop, Ricketts added: “Mike is back (in contention), he has had a good few weeks of work really, (it has) been an opportunity to help him physically develop into a full-time footballer and what we demand from players. It has been an early mid-season break for him from playing which means we can do extra work with him on the training field.”

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