TWO sides suffering from early-season hangovers clash at the Deva Stadium tomorrow – so something has got to give.
While Chester have shipped 11 goals in their opening two matches, tomorrow’s opponents Wycombe were held to a lacklustre 1-1 home draw by Morecambe on Saturday before being crushed 4-0 at Adams Park by Birmingham in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.
Chester boss Simon Davies said: “We’ve had an indifferent start and Wycombe have as well so for both teams it’s important to get a few points on the board.
“They drew at home against Morecambe and then were beaten heavily in the week so they’ve had a similar start to us. We need to make sure we get at least a point on the board, if not three.”
A point would represent progress for City, whose fans could not possibly have predicted such a disappointing start to the season.
Davies was at least able to draw some encouragement from Chester’s spirited second-half display against Leeds in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. The hosts were 5-1 down after only 35 minutes, but held out for the rest of the tie and even managed to cut the deficit to three thanks to Ryan Lowe’s second-half penalty.
Davies said: “The players know where they are at and they were really encouraged, as I was, by the second half performance against Leeds, in which we applied ourselves in a good manner and showed a lot of character. We’re going to take a lot from that.”
Davies revealed he had enlisted the help of Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson – the former Wrexham midfielder – to put together a scouting dossier on Wycombe.
“I’ve got reports from the Morecambe game and Darren Ferguson at Peterborough played against them in pre-season and he’s sent me the DVDs of the games there,” said the Chester manager. “We’ve got enough material on them. We’ll do our homework, but it’s about our performance and we need to get some consistency in our game.”
Skipper Paul Linwood is likely to start tomorrow despite suffering some stiffness in his troublesome back after playing against Leeds in midweek.
Young centre-back Shaun Kelly, a half-time replacement for an out-of-sorts Paul Butler on Tuesday, will almost certainly be brought into the starting line-up against Peter Taylor’s men.
Davies said: “Shaun came in and did really well so he’ll probably deserve his chance there.
“We didn’t concede second half. I know Leeds took their foot off the pedal a little bit, but I thought he came through really well.
“In midfield, there’s four or five lads in there who are up for selection. There’s no-one really bar Damien (Mozika) who’s said ‘this is my shirt’ so there can be changes in there. “They’re all up for it and the spirits are still high.”