CHESTER CITY will have two new faces in their squad this afternoon when they face Barnet in a Nationwide Conference fixture at the Deva Stadium.
City boss Mark Wright last night completed the signing of midfielder Stuart Whittaker from Southport and also finalised the loan transfer of defender Phil Bolland from Oxford United.
Whittaker, 27, started his professional football career as a Liverpool trainee before spells with Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Macclesfield Town.
"Stuart is an ideal addition to our squad," said Wright. "He's an out-and-out winger who can deliver defence-splitting balls into the area - something we have been lacking.
"Phil Bolland will give us the defensive stability we need. He has signed a three-month loan deal with a view to a permanent arrangement."
Ex-Tranmere Rovers and Telford United striker Chris Malkin could also figure in the Chester squad this afternoon.
Malkin played a handful of games for City earlier in the season when Steve Mungall was in charge but left when the manager was sacked on Boxing Day.
"Chris is doing me a great favour in coming back," revealed new chief Wright. "I am well aware of his ability from his Tranmere and Telford days and I know he can do a job for us."
Chester are 21st in the Conference and Wright has just 16 matches left to avoid a second relegation in two years.
He acknowledged: "I am aware of the challenge we face and only hard work and organisation will get us to safety.
"Barnet will provide a stiff test for us. They were a Football League outfit last season but they have learned quickly about life in the Conference."
Wright underlined: "The game will tell me a lot about the players who are representing Chester City."
CHESTER CITY (from): W Brown, Woodyatt, Brabin, Bolland, Lancaster, M Rose, Jenkins, Whittaker, Carden, Porter, Blackburn, Beesley, D Brown, Spink, M O'Brien, Collins, Haarhoff.
* NEIL TURNER'S guests on Channel One TV's Sportstalk programme tomorrow are Liverpool legend Ronnie Moran and television producer and director Charles Lambert.
The show is transmitted at 11.15 am, 3.15 pm and 6.15 pm.