Jon McCarthy will put his trust in Steve Burr and his managerial instinct to solve the Blues selection headache.

A squad that looked a little lightweight pre-season now has far more punch with competition to make the bench, never mind the 11 on the pitch.

Matty Hughes and Sean McConville return to the fold for the game with Bristol Rovers on Saturday (3pm) but are no certainties to start.

Michael Kay has been unable to get back into the team because Matty Brown seized his chance and Josh O’Keefe and Rhys Oates impressed last weekend after starting for the first time.

Burr has a tough decision to make: keep faith with the side that beat Gateshead 1-0 or bring back some of his most impressive performers this season.

Assistant manager McCarthy will have an input but the final call rests with the boss and his second in command has confidence the manager will make the right call.

McCarthy said: “I have a little input but the gaffer always picks the team and he’ll go home Friday night, sleep on it and come in on Saturday and say ‘this is the team we’re going with’.

“He has that instinct, he had it when I played for him and he’s very clever about things.

“He’s been able to bring some players in and this is what he does. We have got lads fighting to get on the bench.

“Gareth Roberts has been playing with a groin injury for the last couple of games because he’s doesn’t want to lose his place.

“I spoke to Kayzy last week and he was gutted he wasn’t in the team but he understands and now we’ve got a decision to make about Sean and Matty.

“It can be hard to keep players happy when they’re not in the team but the gaffer does it.

“It’s created an honesty among the players and those in the team know there is a responsibility to the rest of the squad and the club to perform or someone else will come in.”

Chester are unbeaten in six home matches but that record will be tested this weekend against a side in excellent form on the road.

Rovers began the season as favourites for the title and although a poor start dented those ambitions, the Gas have found their feet after relegation from the Football League last term.

McCarthy accepts this will be another stern test but the first team coach insists the Blues can pass this and then break into the top half.

He said: “There was a little bit of psychology when we spoke to the lads before the Gateshead game.

“We said to them that we’d won some one-off games but these two home games were a chance to prove ourselves against two of the best sides in the league.

“We know we can beat the teams below us but we’ve had a little issue with not being able to back wins up.

“We started the season with a target of six points every month to keep us safe and we’re doing that.

“If we can turn that into nine points then we’ll be in the middle but if we can do a little bit more each month then we know that opens up a few more possibilities for us.”