Chesterfield manager James Rowe expects Aldershot Town to provide 'big challenge' in National League opener

Chesterfield manager James Rowe expects opening day opponents Aldershot Town to provide the Spireites with a ‘big challenge’.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 7:00 am
Spireites manager James Rowe.

The Blues travel to The EBB Stadium on the first day of the new 2021/2022 National League campaign this Saturday.

Chesterfield are one of the favourites for promotion after finishing sixth last season.

Rowe knows exactly what to expect this weekend having spent a couple of years as assistant manager at the Shots.

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“If you want a challenge in your first game it would be that (Aldershot away) with the crowds coming back in but it is one I am going to relish and I am sure the team are focused,” he told the DT.

“In the first game we know what comes, you have to stand up physically, you have to get the small details right to give yourself a platform to win that first game because there is so much riding on it, everyone is excited and I am sure Aldershot will be a big challenge for us but one we will be ready for.”

The Spireites won 1-0 at Aldershot back in February with Alex Whittle scoring the winner in the first-half but Rowe wants to see them perform even better this time.

“I am looking for a little bit more than what we provided there last year in terms of in possession but you have to get through those first moments to calm the game down before you can open up the pitch and I am sure we will be ready,” he explained.

After Saturday’s pre-season win against Grimsby Rowe said he had not decided on his starting line-up for this weekend.

He added: “I need to reflect on the six games and also the training. I can only pick eleven unfortunately and we have got a really good squad now and I am sure that anyone who puts on the shirt will put on a good performance.”

Chesterfield have made eight new summer signings so far and a big chunk of those are expected to start on Saturday.

Gavin Gunning and Manny Oyeleke (knocks) will be assessed after missing the win against Grimsby.