Chesterfield's clash against National League title contenders Hartlepool United will be 'benchmark' for Spireites

James Rowe says Chesterfield’s clash against title contenders Hartlepool United will be a ‘benchmark’ for his side.

By Liam Norcliffe
Friday, 30th April 2021, 10:13 am

The Spireites take on the third-placed Pools at Victoria Park on Saturday in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Pools are unbeaten in 15 games and have won 11 of their last 12 on home soil.

“It means they are closer to a defeat if they are 15 unbeaten so let’s be clear about that,” Rowe said.

James Rowe says Saturday's clash against Hartlepool United will be a 'benchmark' for his side.

“But let’s not underestimate them, they are a good team and they are in the shake-up for the title for a reason.

“I really like the way they play and they set-up but we like to play too so let’s see how it unfolds.

“The best team that comes out on top will be the best team out of possession because both teams have got technical players.

“It is a great game for our club to be involved in.

“I think this game is a good benchmark for us.”

At one point it looked like Town might have been able to gatecrash the top three but Rowe has acknowledged that is a step too far now.

“They (Hartlepool) are obviously going for the title, we have missed that boat now, it was too much of an ask to get in the shake-up for the title,” the Spireites boss said.

“The play-offs are our focus, we know what tally we need.”

The Monkey Hangers, managed by Dave Challinor, are three points behind leaders Torquay United and have a genuine shot at promotion this season.

“He (Challinor) is an experienced manager who has been in the play-offs himself, had FA Trophy success with Fylde before coming across to Hartlepool,” Rowe added.

“The way he sets his team up will be a real challenge for us because they like to dominate the ball too so I am sure it will be a good spectacle.

“I think it will be open, I think both teams will play with their identity and really go and win the game, we will certainly be trying to win it.

“I am really looking forward to seeing how we can match-up against a team that has had a pre-season together, got an experienced manager and got some experienced players and like to play through the thirds.”