BLUES boss Neil Young aims to tick more boxes when Chester entertain Marine on Saturday at the Deva Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Young is keen to see his players stepping up their bid for a place in the starting line-up when Chester face Warrington Town for their opening league fixture on Tuesday August 24.

The Blues’ boss has been delighted with the recent performances of his squad which has resulted in 13 goals and just one goal conceded from their last four pre-season matches.

He said: “I want to see some boxes being ticked as far as certain players are concerned after playing Marine on Saturday and Ashville on Monday night.

“I’ve already pencilled in three or four players as far as starting places are concerned, but overall I think I’ve got a number of exciting players in the squad and I think we’ve got enough to more than compete.”

Young admitted he wasn’t sure whether midfielder Steven Beck would be joining the Blues despite the former Everton youth and TNS player giving a verbal agreement that he would sign.

Young said: “I’ve contacted Steven Beck by text but he’s not got back in touch so I don’t know whether he’ll be signing for us.

“Steven is a creative player who has attracted the interest of several clubs, and if he does decide to sign I feel he’ll be a good acquisition.

“But if he doesn’t sign then I won’t be too downhearted because I feel we have got enough and we’ll try and improve what we have.”

Young revealed that he was planning to release a few players after watching their performances against Marine on Saturday and at Ashville on Monday night.

He said: “After Monday’s match at Ashville I’ll be letting some lads know whether they are staying or not.

“If players are not in my plans then I think it is right to be honest with them. That’s the best way and then there can’t be any comebacks.

“All the players know that they are now fighting for starting places and it’s not because the team hasn’t performed because they have.

“But I’ve got to think about playing to a set system of the way I want the team to play and then fit the players into that team.”

Young watched Marine’s 1-1 draw against Southport on Tuesday night and admitted he had been impressed with what he had seen.

He added: “Marine are big and strong at the back and they played a decent game against Southport.

“I wasn’t surprised with the way Marine boss, Kevin Lynch’s side played and I’m sure they’ll provide a good test for the Chester players on Saturday.”

- Former Chester striker David McNiven has signed for Conference North club, Droylsden.

McNiven came through the ranks at Oldham Athletic alongside brother Scott but struggled to establish himself with the Latics.

He spent a month at Chester in 2000 and has since played for Hamilton Academical, Northwich, Leigh RMI, Queen of the South, Scarborough, Morecambe, Halifax, Stafford Rangers, and Hyde United.