AFTER a sweltering week on the training ground, Chester City expect their Danish visitors FC Nordsjaelland to turn up the temperature on the field tomorrow.
City manager Mark Wright won't be surprised to see his Conference side beaten at the Deva Stadium by a premier division team which has qualified for the UEFA Cup next season - and that wouldn't worry him.
'The only thing I am looking for from the game is fitness,' he said. 'I am not bothered about the result, although I never like losing. I won't be criticising the team whatever happens.
'The Danes are a very good team who like to keep the ball. We must remember they are a top team in Denmark, while we are playing our first game together with some new faces in the squad.
'Having said that, the players have trained extremely hard and they are very, very fit. It will be a good game and we are glad the temperatures have dropped.
'I will be making changes throughout the game to give everyone a run-out.'
Wright has been boosted by the signing this week of striker Kevin Rapley from Colchester. Terms had been agreed a fortnight ago, but Rapley had been tying up some loose ends in Essex and only moved up to the area this week.
And there was more good news when unsettled defender Carl Ruffer agreed to see out his contract after earlier indicating he wanted to move.
'I am very pleased Carl is staying,' added Wright. 'He has had some personal problems and we are giving him some leeway to sort them out.'
The City boss has been pursuing former Oxford United goal-keeper Ian McCaldon, who had a brief spell on loan at the Deva last season when Wayne Brown was suspended.
But his hopes of bringing the 6ft 5ins Liverpool-born player back to the Deva have been knocked by the news that McCaldon's former club Livingston, of the Scottish Premier League, have made him an offer which he is considering.
'Livingston play at a higher level than us, so that may be signif icant,' said Wright. 'All I can do is monitor the situation and hope for the best.
'But I would like two goalkeepers to keep each other on their toes. No-one is guaranteed a place in the first team. We need competition for places in every department.'
City are sending a team to West Cheshire League Cammell Laird on Monday and on Wednesday (7.45) they have another attractive home match against Dutch club Den Haag.
'We will be treating this game the same as Saturday's,' added Wright. 'Den Haag are another top side and it will be good for our fans to see teams of this quality.'
Chester's commercial manager Ian Knox has reported a 'fantastic' response to match and ball sponsorship for the new season.
'We have only a couple of matches left to find sponsors for, which at this time of the year is tremendous,' he said.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a match or ball should phone Knox on 01244 371376.
Admission to the games tomorrow and Wednesday is £10 for adults seated (£7 seniors, £3 children) and £8 standing (£5, £3).