Wrexham v Harrogate Town: Simon Weaver hoping for a play-off selection headache

Saturday will see Harrogate Town travel to Wales to tackle Wrexham in their final game of the regular National League season.

Saturday, 27th April 2019, 6:57 am
Updated Saturday, 27th April 2019, 7:34 am
Harrogate Town are hoping that Jack Emmett will be fit enough to take on Wrexham once again this Saturday. Picture: Matt Kirkham

With a play-off berth already secured and a number of players struggling with injuries, manager Simon Weaver has revealed that he may well rotate his squad and hand starts to some of those who have found themselves sidelined in recent weeks.

And while wholesale changes are unlikely, the Town chief said he is planning to give "one or two" the opportunity to stake their claim ahead of next week's play-off eliminator against either AFC Fylde or Wrexham.

“We won’t take our foot off the gas, we want to build on the performance against Gateshead on Monday, but we have to strike the right balance,” Weaver said.

“What is important is that we’re in a position next week where I have the strongest possible squad to pick from for the play-offs, so there might be the opportunity for one or two to come in on Saturday.

“There are some lads who are not happy I’ve left them out in recent weeks and this will be their chance to prove them right and me wrong.

“This is Wrexham after all. If they go out and do the business against a team of that quality then it could leave me with a massive selection headache.”

Centre-half Kelvin Langmead has missed Town's last two matches through injury, while midfielder Jack Emmett was not risked against Gateshead, a match that right-back Ryan Fallowfield limped out of with what looked like a hamstring strain.

In addition, there are also concerns over left-back Jack Senior and striker Dominic Knowles.

"I anticipate that Kelvin will come back in, and Jack [Emmett] should be okay, but if there are any doubts about Ryan then we'll leave him out," Weaver added.

"A couple will need to undergo fitness tests to make sure."

Town need to match the result of seventh-placed Eastleigh this weekend to guarantee that they remain in sixth position, a league finish that would see them return to Wrexham once more on Wednesday evening in the first round of the play-offs, as things stand.

Should they drop down to seventh, then a trip to AFC Fylde would await them on Thursday night, unless Wrexham manage to overtake the Lancashire club and claim fourth spot.

"We're anticipating a tough game against Wrexham or Fylde, whoever we end up playing. Whatever happens, we'll be the underdogs," Weaver added.

"It’s magical to be involved in the play-offs and the pressure is off us.

“No matter what happens from here, nobody can take it away from these players. It’s on their CVs that they qualified for the National League play-offs at the first time of asking, so we’ll go out and attack it and really enjoy the experience.”

Town and the Dragons have already met three times in 2018/19, with the men from from Wetherby Road yet to register a single goal against Saturday's opponents.

The sides drew 0-0 in the league at the CNG Stadium back in September then played out another goalless draw in the FA Cup a month later.

The replay ended in a 2-0 success for Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground, though Town did win by the same scoreline in an FA Trophy clash in Wales last term courtesy of a Mark Beck brace.

Now under the stewardship of ex-Scarborough Athletic boss Bryan Hughes, Wrexham currently sit fifth in the league table having won three of their last five.