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Football: Spann sounds the Dragons' battle cry.

Byline: By Mark Burton

Silvio spann has warned his team-mates their abdication of responsibility could cost Wrexham their league status. The experienced Trinidad and Tobago international knows the only way Wrexham will drag themselves from the foot of League Two is if their players come out of hiding and collectively lead the charge to safety.

Spann was the hero turned villain at Notts County on Saturday as, after scoring a stunning equaliser, he was dismissed for hauling down Hector Sam as his fellow countryman charged through on goal and County snatched a last-minute winner from the resulting free-kick.

Wrexham's 2-1 defeat at Meadow Lane was their eighth defeat in 10 league games and leaves them languishing joint-bottom of The Football League.

Spann admitted, "We can't take much more of this.

"Our players must start to take responsibility and not palm it off. We all, as a team, must take responsibility as something must change as the direction we are going at the moment is down.

"We must stick together during times of trouble and not give up hope as we have time to turn our fortunes around. We're a good team, but every man in a red shirt must take it on himself to make a difference, take responsibility and lead by example."

Manager Brian Carey's position is safe despite him winning just nine games in 35 games since replacing Denis Smith in January as the club's co-owner Neville Dickens insists he has 'no plans' to wield the axe. In fact, Dickens blames the players for Wrexham's sorry plight not his chosen team leader.

Those words of clarity from Wrexham's paymaster may not strike a chord with everyone at the Racecourse.

Carey's team are unique at this level as his side boast players of international standard as well as men with a wealth of football league experience plus a host of promising kids.

So the manager's tactical and motivational techniques are coming under scrutiny as teams are having little trouble exposing Wrexham's deficiencies.

But Dickens' vote of confidence suggests Carey, who saved Wrexham from dropping into non-league oblivion last season, will have the chance to inspire his team again.

Wrexham have lacked fight and heart in recent weeks, but thankfully that had returned against Notts County. Unfortunately their soft underbelly was all too apparent as the Dragons contributed hugely to their own downfall - yet again.

County may have been keen to impress their new boss Ian McParland, but the Magpies created little and their two goals - and the crucial points in what could transpire to be a relegation 'six-pointer' - were gifted to them by the generous visitors.

Steve Evans epitomises the Jekyll and Hyde Wrexham.

Evans can be a colossus, but on Saturday the defender, who has been man of the match for Wales, was embarrassing.

The tone was set in the opening quarter when he served County their opener on a platter. Evans' under-hit back pass was an unforced error and County striker Spender Weir-Daley pounced and almost looked embarrassed as he rounded keeper Anthony Williams to score, but not as embarrassed as Evans.

Wrexham's experienced attackers Chris Llewellyn and Eifion Williams both wasted glorious headed opportunities when it looked easier to score.

But substitute Spann showed them how it should be done as he brought some Caribbean quality as his 25-yard scorcher lit up a dreary afternoon.

His arrowing drive gave County keeper Kevin Pilkington no chance and he was denied another when his own man Eifion Williams blocked a goal-bound effort.

But Spann, though, left Meadow Lane with his head bowed as he was given a straight red card for bundling over former Wrexham hero Sam when through on goal in injury time.

The guilty man, playing as makeshift defender for the injured Simon Spender, had hoped he had sacrificed himself for the sake of his team.

But, from the resulting free-kick, Neil Mackenzie struck a stunner into the top corner.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 29, 2007
Words:654
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