NEIL Young will tell his Chester FC players to ‘play the match, not the occasion’ in today’s crunch title clash with nearest rivals Northwich Victoria at the Exacta Stadium (3pm).
The Blues will be crowned champions at approximately 4.45pm if they avoid defeat against the only team capable of beating them to the championship.
With just a point needed this afternoon to win the league, Young does not want to see a repeat of the ill-discipline that cost the long-time leaders the chance of beating Vics in the Boxing Day meeting between the neighbours.
On that occasion Michael Powell and Wes Baynes saw red as Chester had to settle for a share of the spoils with a Northwich team who played most of the match without a recognised keeper after Ben Hinchcliffe was sent off.
Blues boss Young said: “We’ve got to play the football match and not the occasion and I hope both sides do that because the game on Boxing Day was spoit after 15 minutes – and it only got worse as the game wore on.
“It’s about concentrating on football and that’s what we’ll be telling the lads. Yes we want to win the league and yes we want to do it on Monday but we don’t want people getting booked or sent off because it’s not just about now.
“I don’t want to be starting a new season having players missing again as we saw what problems that caused us at the start of this season.
“So we’ve got to keep a level head and hopefully the referee will be up to the task as it’s not going to be an easy game to referee. But we’ll let the people who make those decisions, make those decisions, and I’m sure the two sets of players and clubs will handle themselves impeccably.
“It should be an exciting game.”
Chester officials anticipate that the record crowd for the reformed club – which currently stands at 3,560 – will be broken today.
Young, who is on the brink of leading the Blues into the Blue Square North and to back-to-back automatic promotions, reckons his players deserve all the support the Chester public can muster.
He said: “It’s all set up to be a great occasion although I’m sure Northwich won’t want us to win the league against them because I wouldn’t either.
“It’s a Bank Holiday Monday and I’d urge the Chester public to get behind the players because I know how hard they’ve worked from back in June to where we are now.”
You can follow the today’s big match on Twitter @PaulWheelock