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TRIALIST Josh Johnson was among the 18-strong squad of Wrexham players who were up at the crack of dawn this morning to travel to Northern Ireland for the club's two-match mini-tour.


The 24-year-old winger from Trinidad earned his seat on the plane with promising performances against Liverpool last weekend and against asecond Premier-ship outfit, Manchester City, on Wednesday evening.

And manager Denis Smith is delighted that the newcomer has agreed to extend his trial period at the Racecourse.

"He's been here aweek now, which is what we had planned, and now he is staying with us for another seven days at least," said the Dragons' boss.

"After the City game I had a chat with his agent, who is going away on holiday for aweek, and it's an ideal opportunity for the lad to get to know the other play-ers abit more and it will also allow us to see how he fits in with the group.

"He's been a bit quiet, which is under-standable, but a few days away with everyone should encourage him to join in more."

Johnson's display in Wednesday evening's 3-3 draw was appreciated by the fans and Smith agreed with their verdict.

"We saw a little bit more from the lad, including the fact that he's not averse to sticking his foot in and once again he demonstrated he has genuine pace and that he can cross aball as well," he added.

"I felt the team's first half performance against Liverpool was better than it was against City, but we had a few words at half-time and we were much better after the break.

"It was an open game and played at a good tempo throughout, which shows that our general fitness levels are improving all the time.

"We are getting where we want to be in terms of that and when we get to Northern Ireland we'll start putting more emphasis on the tactical side of the game."

But the Racecourse boss emphasised that plenty of hard work had yet to be done before the season gets under way in a fortnight's time.

"We showed against City we can score goals from open play and there was some good finishing by Chris Llewellyn and Matty Done," said Smith.

"On the other hand we've conceded five goals in two games. In both games we were caught out early on, so that's something we need to address.

"Having said that I don't believe we'll come up against that sort of quality in League Two.

"Our two matches in Northern Ireland and next week's game at Port Vale should probably be a better yardstick for us."

Wrexham, who will be based in the coastal resort of Newcastle for five days, face Dungannon Swifts tomorrow afternoon and take on Cliftonville on Tuesday evening.

Their travelling squad is - Ingham, Michael Jones, Spender, Pejic, Lawrence, SEvans, Valentine, Mike Williams, Johnson, Mark Jones, Ferguson, DWilliams, Llewellyn, Roberts, Crowell, Mackin, Done, GEvans.