Linwood loving life at Chester FC


Dennis Wall

PAUL LINWOOD is pleased to be part of a confident Chester squad.

The experienced centre half has played a key role in helping the Blues carve a nine-point lead at the top of the Conference North league table.

And the Birkenhead-born defender believes his club can continue to put the pressure on the chasing pack.

“We just keep churning out results and everyone in the changing room seems to have the same mentality,” Linwood said.

“We are confident that we’re going to win every game and that’s what all the big teams are like. It is all going well at the minute.

“There aren’t many squads in our league that can keep players like Tony Gray and Iain Howard off the bench which happened on Saturday in our

4-1 home win against Bishops Stortford, but that’s credit to how good the lads on the pitch and the 16 in the squad are at Chester.

“Iain Howard has scored 10 goals for us so far this season and it seems ridiculous that he isn’t being named in the team or on the bench, but that’s just the way it is at the moment.”

Linwood was delighted with the way his team have performed so far this season, but insists that the Blues will need to utilise their full squad of players during the hectic festive programme.

He added: “Football is a squad game and everyone is going to get used. The lads who were left on the bench on Saturday were obviously disappointed, but those who came on showed a brilliant attitude.

“Nobody sulks when they are named as a substitute and we have a good set of lads who are going to work for one another all season.

“We have got a lot of games coming up during the Christmas and New Year period, so it is just a case of keeping everyone fit and when it’s your turn to come in then you have to take it with both hands and keep hold of your shirt.

“I thought we earned our money in defence during the first half on Saturday against Bishop Stortford.

“If we can keep things tight at the back when the chips are down then we know that we’ll do well for the rest of the season.

“We now face a tough home game tomorrow night against Harrogate because they are improving all the time and they are probably in a false position because they have a lot of games to catch up on.”

Blues boss Neil Young has reflected on Chester’s commanding position at the top of the league table.

Young, who has been pleased to see a local company agree to help fund Craig Curran’s loan deal at Chester for another month, admitted he couldn’t fault his side’s impressive form.

He said: “I couldn’t be happier with the position that we find ourselves in. We have pocketed 52 points out of a possible 57 which is unbelievable,” Young said.

“I have used the word phenomenal a few times and I’ll use it again because to only drop five points after 19 games is a great credit to the players.

“There were a lot of unhappy faces in the changing rooms because players were subbed and some weren’t involved in Saturday’s match, but it’s a squad game.

“I understand that we’re all trying the best we can for the football club and I can’t fault any of the lads application.”

- FC Halifax Town can reduce the gap at the top of the league table tonight with a victory at 10th placed Altrincham.

The Yorkshire club are 23 points behind leaders Chester but have five games in hand due to their involvement in the FA Trophy.

Bishop’s Stortford will be attempting to bounce back from Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Chester when they travel to bottom club Hinckley United this evening.

- Cheshire FA Schools Under 18s entertain Manchester FA Schools Under 18s at the Exacta Stadium this Thursday (7pm kick-off).

Admission is £2 for adults and £1 for juniors.

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