Wrexham boss Andy Morrell wants cup 'springboard'

Andy Morrell
Morrell (right) had given Wrexham a first half lead against Brighton

Player-manager Andy Morrell wants to use Wrexham's FA Cup performances as a springboard to promotion to the Football League.

Wrexham's cup adventure came to end following a penalty shoot-out defeat against Brighton in a thrilling replay.

And Morrell believes the cup run will help rather than hinder their bid to return to the Football League.

"I think we have a great chance of going up if we can keep the lads fit and together," said Morrell.

"We have got bigger fish to fry with getting out of this league and if we can do that with a good cup run this should kick us on now, rather than hinder us.

"I think this is a springboard. Crawley did it last year and it's a very similar thing, apart from they were at Manchester United, so I don't see why we can't."

Morrell's stunning strike midway through the first half had given Wrexham the lead against their Championship opponents.

But despite making most of the running the Blue Square Bet Premier side could not find a second goal and the visitors equalised on 77 minutes through Ashley Barnes to force extra time.

After a scoreless extra time, the game went to penalties and Dean Keates' opening spot-kick was saved by Peter Brezovan, with Brighton netting all of their penalties to secure a fourth round tie against Newcastle United.

"The lads were absolutely fantastic and they deserve all the credit that they get and on another day we might have nicked it as well," said Morrell.

"It wasn't to be, but I am so proud. We had the better chances I think, but I am not going to sit here and complain.

"They are devastated down there and I have told them I don't see why they should be. We have just given a decent Championship team a right run for their money, I can't fault any of them."

With their FA Cup run now at an end, Wrexham return to action in the Blue Square Bet Premier on Saturday when they host Kettering.

Despite the disappointment of a penalty shoot-out defeat, Morrell says the league leaders will be refocused for Kettering's visit.

"They'll be right at it I'm sure on Saturday," said Morrell. "They're so professional, they look after themselves [and] they are a great bunch."

One player who will miss Saturday's game is striker Danny Wright, who was stretchered off during the second half of the Brighton game after dislocating his elbow.

With fitness worries over fellow strikers Mathias Pogba and Jake Speight, Morrell admits he may have to sign reinforcements to strengthen his squad.

"We may be looking to bring in a couple to help out the squad because it's very thin at the moment," added Morrell.

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