PAUL RUTHERFORD believes Wrexham can gain momentum for a 2017/18 National League promotion push between now and the end of the current campaign.
Wrexham are stranded in mid-table with four games of the season to go.
But Rutherford knows that promotion campaigns are built long before the first ball of a new season is kicked and the attacker feels that a strong run-in could be of great benefit.
“As individuals and as a team we want to finish the season strongly,” he said. “There is nothing worse than losing the last game of the season and going into the summer on the back of a defeat.
“If your performance is bad you dwell on it until you get the chance to put it right, but if we can win the next four games it will give us a positive platform.
“I’ve seen it at teams before when you carry whatever form you’ve had at the end of one season into the start of another and we want to be going into the next season on the back of some wins.”
And Wrexham’s run-in certainly sparks some interest. Friday’s home game against relegation threatened Maidstone United is quickly followed by a reunion with Gary Mills and several former players at York City on Monday, before games against promotion chasing Dagenham and big spending Eastleigh.
“Every game is a good opportunity for us,” continued Rutherford. “We want to be winning games and we’ve got some good tests coming up.
“Obviously there is the York game, but even the game against Dagenham is a good one because we got a kicking at their place and we want to put it right, we want to show them that we aren’t a bad team and that 3-0 defeat earlier in the season wasn’t a true reflection of us.”
Wrexham head into the final four games of the season on the back of a six-match winless run, the latest result seeing Keates’ side lose 4-3 at Bromley.
The result might not have gone in Rutherford’s favour, but he’s confident Wrexham will pocket plenty of points between now and the end of the season if they reproduce their Hayes Lane performance.
“It was a weird game,” said the 29-year-old. “I felt we were in control and then two deflected goals meant we were 2-0 down at half time.
“We went further behind at the start of the second-half, but we reacted well and we were unfortunate not to get something out of it. It was hard to take.”
Despite the defeat, Rutherford is enjoying his football under Keates, the ex-Southport man adding: “He’s given me some good opportunities to play in different positions. I’ve been playing in the number 10 role, which I really enjoy.”
Does that mean Rutherford will stay at Wrexham beyond the end of the current campaign?
“I’ve just been concentrating on my football,” he said. “As part of my contract when I signed there was a new deal triggered when I played a certain amount of games.
“There was a little amendment, but I’m really happy at Wrexham. I know it’s been a mixed bag of a season, but I’ve enjoyed it.
“When the contract issues came up earlier this year I didn’t want to deal with them. I like to focus on my football and I want to finish the season positively.
“A lot of the lads are playing for contracts and I see it that I am no different to them. Nothing has been signed by me and nothing is set in stone for next season.”