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Wins back Chasetown FC’s decision to stand by their squad

Chasetown FC's Andy Cox and Charlie Blakemore. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC's Andy Cox and Charlie Blakemore. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC’s management team say their decision to stick by the squad that got the club promoted has been justified after two wins on the bounce.

And assistant manager Andy Cox has confirmed that they will only be looking to add “one or two experienced heads” to their current crop of players.

The Scholars entertain Kendal Town tomorrow (September 4) after securing their first points of the season in a 2-1 win against Halifax Town and a 1-0 success at North Ferriby United.

Those victories followed two narrow early season defeats and backed the decision by manager Charlie Blakemore and his number two not to make wholesale changes to the squad during the summer.

Cox told The Lichfield Blog:

“We always wanted to take our time and have faith in the lads that got us promoted. We felt there was more to come from them and we needed three or four games to see how well they adapted.

“We could easily have got something out of the first two games and we weren’t outclassed by any means. There was always belief from the management and the players that we could adapt to the higher level, but you’re never sure until you start playing.

“It was a great feeling to beat the pre-season favourites Halifax because it got the first points on the board and got a monkey off our back.  Then to follow it up with another win and a clean sheet made it a double bonus.

“It’s a relatively young side at Chasetown with the likes of Jack Farmer, Matty Cohen and Grant Ryan, so we know we do need a little bit more experience, but it won’t be seven or eight new faces, it’ll be more like one or two experienced heads. But we won’t take just anyone. We’re after the right player at the right price and they have to be better than what we already have.

“We’ll be having a look round in the next few weeks as this is the time of the season where players are starting to get fed up because they’re not playing or teams are releasing players because things haven’t quite started how they wanted them to.”

Chasetown’s squad strength has already undergone minor tests this season with striker Dean Perrow missing the North Ferriby victory with a hamstring problem, while centre-back Chris Slater has undergone a scan to try and find a solution to his injury problems.

The former Port Vale defender will definitely be out for the visit of Kendal and the trip to Ashton United on Monday (September 6), while Perrow, even if he is fit, may miss out due to the two-match suspension he has been given for a sending off in the defeat against Marine.

Dean Perrow. Pic: Dave Birt

Dean Perrow. Pic: Dave Birt

Because of that ban, the striker will miss out on the Kidsgrove Athletic FA Cup game and either a replay of that fixture or the visit to Worksop Town on September 18 – news that Cox admits means they may not rush their forward back.

Cox explained:

“Saturday might be a bit soon for Dean and we certainly won’t risk him if he’s not right given that we’ve got the Kendal game followed by the trip to Ashton on Monday.

“Gary Birch and Grant Ryan have both scored in the last week and we’ll have Gary Hay back in contention after he was unavailable against North Ferriby so we’ve got other options if Dean isn’t quite right.”

As well as Hay’s return, The Scholars assistant boss is also hoping Richard Teasdale and Gavin Swann-Horler can overcome knocks to be fit for Saturday’s crunch clash against a side who have been involved in the promotion mix-up for the last two seasons.

And Cox is under no illusions about the size of the task facing Chasetown if they want to make it three wins in as many games. He added:

“We know they’ve finished fifth for the last two years and we’ll be expecting another tough game. The fact they’ve got a trip of more than 100 miles might benefit us, but we did that sort of journey on Monday and still beat North Ferriby.

“It would be good to keep up the momentum we have, but we know already that if we’re not on our game we’ll get punished in this league. The results for all the teams in the division so far have shown that anyone can beat anyone on their day.”

Chasetown’s game against Kendal Town kicks off at 3pm on Saturday (September 4), while their visit to Ashton

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