BLUES boss Neil Young is tonight aiming to get a clearer picture of his squad’s progression when they line-up against FC United of Manchester at the Deva Stadium (7.45pm kick-off).
Young is keen to see midfielders Andy Burgess and Roger Sharrock step up their bid to be match fit in time for Chester’s opening league fixture at Warrington Town on August 24.
He said: “We now face two very difficult games against two very well established teams in FC United of Manchester tonight and Nantwich Town on Saturday.
“My only concern at the moment is that some of our more established players are coming back from injury or have had a short pre-season, so it’s now a case of trying to get minutes on the pitch for Andy and Roger, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that in time for the start of the season.
“It’s now all about me getting in my head about what is our best team.
“Not always the best players give you the best team. I have to make sure we get the right combinations in the right areas, and certain ways we are going to play have got to be right.
“I played two teams on Saturday against Marine to look at everybody, but when it comes down to it we’ll know what we’ll need.
“The team I put out at Warrington for our first league game won’t necessarily be the same team that plays in our first home game against Prescot Cables.
“I know what it’s like to play at Warrington and what it’s like at the Deva Stadium, so it’s horses for courses.
“I know what I’ve got in my dressing room, and I’ve got to make sure the players know what I’m asking of them.
“I’m the manager and I’ve got to put my point across.
“People have got to remember that I’ve only been at the club for the last 12 weeks and we’ve had some great results with a new team.
“We’ll have bad results like Saturday’s against Marine, and we will get that until we know how each other plays and where we can play.
“Nobody can just throw a team together and expect it to work. But I know what I’ve got in my dressing room is good enough, but we’ve got to be a little bit patient with them.”
Admitting he had been impressed with centre back Greg Stones during Chester’s pre-season matches, Young added: “I thought Greg was absolutely tremendous against Ashville in our 2-0 win on Monday night. I thought he stood out a mile compared to everyone else on the pitch.
“Greg gives me the nice problem of having someone that can play in several different positions. He is a player that can play at the back or in midfield, or he can even play off the front.
“I think Greg has been outstanding in our pre-season games so far. He’s played for me for a number of years at different clubs.
“At the moment I would say he is in the form of his life. I managed him as a 17-year-old at Poulton Vics, but now he is playing the best football I have seen him play. His reading of the game against Ashville was tremendous.”
Young is hoping his new club can follow in the footsteps of tonight’s visitors and win promotion to the Premier Division.
He said: “FC United of Manchester are a good competitive side. They have gone through the leagues like we are trying to do, but they have been in the Premier Division for a few seasons now.
“I know that they are about to build a new ground which should see them kick on again in the next two or three years.
“They have got a massive fanbase, a very good manager, and always try and play football in the right way.
“They have a centre forward in Michael Norton who has led the goalscoring charts in this league for the last couple of years.
“We’re hoping that we can win promotion like they have achieved.
“Tonight’s game will tell us a lot about where we are at in our level of performance.”
See full story in the Leader