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Wrexham boss Keates calls for strong referee to prevent Sutton United gamesmanship

Dean Keates, Doswell, Keates, National League, NLP, Non-League, Paul Doswell, Sutton, Sutton United, The U's, Wrexham, WrxmAFC

By Matt Bishop

Wrexham manager Dean Keates has called for a strong refereeing performance during Saturday’s mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash against Sutton United in the hope it will prevent any gamesmanship from Paul Doswell’s side.

Wrexham were frustrated for long spells during their last home game as Guiseley tried to secure a big three points at the Racecourse ground, but during the eight minutes of stoppage time, Keates’ men equalised through Sam Wedgbury.

The Dragons boss was disappointed with Guiseley’s apparent time-wasting antics throughout the match, and wants Saturday’s officials to step in if Sutton do anything similar.

Speaking to The Leader, the 39-year-old said: “They will look at coming here and trying to frustrate us as teams do so it is on us to try and play on the front foot.

“All being well the referee can take command of the game and any gamesmanship is limited.

“You can’t always make the goalkeeper run to get a goal-kick or a player run to take a throw-in, but the gamesmanship we were on the end of against Guiseley, that is the kind of thing that needs stamping on.”

Wrexham are flying in the National League, lying just a point about leaders Sutton in fifth, and could end the weekend top of the league such is the tight nature of Non-League’s top-tier.

After the U’s beat Barrow 3-2 last Saturday, they surged back to the top, but Doswell jokingly said his team were bound to lose against the Dragons as teams continue to snatch points off each other.

“I think it was a little bit of a tongue in cheek comment from their manager but it is going to be a tough game.” said Keates.

“They are the ones that I highlighted as dark horses for this season, they seem to have invested a bit of the FA Cup money and he has recruited really well.

“They are a big, strong, organised team and it is going to be a massive test for us, but something we will look forward to.”

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