'A few sleepless nights!' - Chesterfield manager James Rowe on preparing for 'surreal' FA Cup tie against Chelsea

James Rowe has joked that he will have ‘a few sleepless nights’ ahead of Chesterfield’s dream FA Cup tie against European champions Chelsea.

By Liam Norcliffe
Monday, 3rd January 2022, 6:00 am
James Rowe.

The Spireites, who are top of the National League, will be backed by a huge following of 6,000 fans at Stamford Bridge on Saturday for the third round clash.

Whatever line-up Chelsea field, Town will be facing a team of international stars earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week and a manager in Thomas Tuchel who has won major honours in Germany, France and England.

Asked by the DT how he goes about preparing for the glamour tie, Rowe joked: "There will be a few sleepless nights!

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"It sounds a bit surreal.

"We are back on the map, that is the most important thing.

"It is about enjoying the occasion. The result is the result.

"It is about enjoying the day, realising how far we have come as a collective club in the last year, it is incredible.

"I can’t wait to see the supporters who have been lucky enough to get tickets down there at Stamford Bridge singing their hearts out."

There will of course be no pressure on Chesterfield in west London, but Rowe acknowledged that they won’t want to lose heavily.

He explained: "You pride yourself on every training session and every game and it is no different whoever we play. We want to do our best.

"We need to be a lot better with the ball, which I am sure we will be, on a better surface. It is a tricky surface out there (at the Technique) at the moment. The Christmas period has not done the pitch any good.”

The Spireites will head to Stamford Bridge 14 games unbeaten despite managing a serious injury crisis for several weeks.

Rowe added: “We have got an almighty challenge to continue that!

"All our attention has been on Halifax and King’s Lynn – there has been no deviation of the focus.

"I have got a big smile on my face now because it is a bonus game for everybody.

"I am really looking forward to the week and we can enjoy it but it does not take our distraction away from what we want to achieve in the league this season.”