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Billy's still feeling the pain of Wrexham FC Wembley loss

27 June 2013

Richard Williams - Evening Leader By Richard Williams - The Leader

Billy BarrAssistant manager Billy Barr admits he will finally ‘get over’ Wrexham’s play-off heartbreak when Andy Morrell’s squad return on Monday for pre-season training.

Wrexham’s promotion dream came to an end in the play-offs for the third year in a row as they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Newport County in the all-Welsh final at Wembley on May 5, with both goals conceded in the last five minutes.

Nearly two months have passed since Wrexham missed out on a return to the Football League and although Barr still feels the pain, it will be forgotten as he and Morrell start plotting another promotion bid when the players arrive back at Colliers Park next week for training.

“Andy and I travel together, live on the same estate and work together all day so we spend more time together than we do with our families,” said Barr.

“It is about keeping each other right. Obviously what happened at Wembley wasn’t good, it was good until the 86th minute but we all know what happened and everybody was disappointed to lose.

“I have been relegated in the past and stuff like that but this is totally different. You don’t really get over it because it was the last game you have played until you start pre-season.

“Then you get everybody back and start to build from there again. There is not a lot going on in the off-season, phone calls and maybe a couple of signings, but I think you need that familiarity of everybody around you again to really get over it.”

Although Wrexham won the FA Trophy on the club’s first ever Wembley appearance in March, Barr says missing out on promotion took the shine off the highlights.

“We have been in football a long time and know there are lows. To me you have got to enjoy the highs when they are there because you never know what is around the corner,” said Barr.

“I think as a football club, with all the doom and gloom that has been around the club in the past, it has been enjoyable but not as rewarding as all of us would have liked.”

Although defender Martin Riley and leading scorer Danny Wright have left for Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers respectively, Morrell has kept the core of the squad that secured a top-five finish for a third year running.

Having seen Wrexham bounce back from previous play-off disappointments, Barr is confident the players will be desperate to go on and win promotion when the new campaign kicks-off on August 10.

“They are a great bunch of players, unfortunately in this league only one can go straight up and then it is the lottery of the play-offs,” said Barr. “I am hoping that changes, even when we get promoted into the Football League I still think this league should provide at least two going up automatically and one through the play-offs.

“You know how hard it is going to be from day one but we’ve dusted ourselves down for the last couple of seasons and gone again, and we have to do the same.

“The nucleus of that squad is still with us and they will be even hungrier this year to get the success that we want. We are back in on Monday and from then on it is all guns blazing.”

Morrell was part of Wrexham’s 2002-03 promotion winning side during his first spell at The Racecourse and Barr knows how eager the striker is to lead the club back to the Football League.

“Andy is from the past and the present, he has been here in the good days in the past with promotion and people here hold him in high esteem, and rightfully so. Wrexham is in his blood from then till now,” added Barr.

“As a group, we want to just take this club to where it rightfully deserves to be in the Football League. We can’t stay gloomy for too long because we have to look to the future.”







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