Chester FC caretaker boss Calum McIntyre has vowed to put out the strongest possible side in a bid to get a result against Barrow and insists the National League’s integrity is king as other teams are yet to have their fate decided.
The already relegated Blues travel to fellow strugglers Barrow tomorrow lunchtime who are hovering just a point above the relegation zone.
The side currently taking up the final spot in the drop zone below the Bluebirds is Woking, who have a home clash against Dover.
Should Barrow win, they will confirm their National League status for next season and condemn the Cardinals to relegation, regardless of their own result.
And Chester caretaker boss McIntyre insists he will put out the strongest possible side tomorrow in a bid to end the season with a positive result against Barrow, who the Blues beat 3-2 in October at the Swansway Chester Stadium .
“The integrity of the competition is massive. You play 46 games, you should field your strongest side for 46 games, particularly where there is the impact,” he said.
“If I’m Woking, I’m watching with a really keen eye what team we put out on Saturday.
“Be reassured we will put out the strongest possible side and we’ll be going to Barrow to get a result.
“That stuff’s important to me in terms of the scenario that if it was a game where there is – and I hate this phrase – but nothing to play for in terms of points.
“We’ve got to do it properly otherwise the team have played 45 games, otherwise Barrow have only played 45 competitive game because we’ve used it as a chance to rotate.”
But the National League North-bound Blues will travel to Cumbria with an injury-hit squad.
They will be without Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Matty Waters and Lucas Dawson.
Gary Roberts is also unlikely to feature after suffering what McIntyre said was a ‘freak hand accident’ which has required surgery.
McIntyre – who is also the academy head coach – also highlighted the commitments of younger players whose season will not come to an end tomorrow.
“I look at the group, on Tuesday morning I had nine fit senior professionals to train,” he said.
“When I use the term senior that includes Andy Firth who is an under-23 loanee , it includes the three first year professionals that we’ve got. That’s difficult, that’s a challenge.
“We are injury-hit, we have a really small squad, and we will have to use some of our younger players.
“Please also remember that the youth team season runs on for another four weeks and we’re in the middle of an immensely busy schedule.
“For us to use four on a Saturday, to lose four on a Sunday plus injuries, you end up having a really difficult scenario there as well.
“At the moment, I’m just firefighting pretty much everywhere I look. If we can get Gary Roberts fit, which is highly unlikely for Saturday, that’ll be a massive bonus. Andy Halls will be fit.
“We will be able to name a team that we believe will put on a really strong performance.
“You will again see some of my imprint on it in terms of how I believe we should play, but it’s all about making sure the competition is done properly and we’ll be going to certainly make a game of it because that’s what the competition deserves and the sides within that deserves.”