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4 March 2022

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Promotion-chasing Chesterfield host Southend United on Saturday as the Blues look to extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches against a strong Spireites side.

And Blues’ Head Coach Kevin Maher feels the trip to Derbyshire could be his side’s toughest tie in their recent run.

"We’ve had some tough tests along the way but with where they are in the league you could say that,” said Maher.

"We’ve got to focus on ourselves and perform, if we apply ourselves the way we want to then let’s see what happens.

"If you’re not really on it against anyone in this league you will come unstuck.

"They will be looking at us thinking it’s a tough one for them as well and hopefully we can make sure it is.”

Saturday’s clash will be the third time the two sides have met this season, Blues previously losing 4-0 and 3-1, the latter scoreline coming in the Emirates FA Cup.

And Maher feels that his side now pose a different threat, whilst being wary of the positive change taking place for this weekend’s opposition.

"We’re in a different place as a club now but they’ve had changes as well,” said the Blues Head Coach.

"It will make for a different game, but it will be equally as tough.

"They’ve got a manager in there who they’ve done unbelievably well to get in, getting a manager in of Paul’s calibre is a coup for them and I think it’ll benefit them in the long run.

"It doesn’t get much tougher than this and it’s one we need to be ready for."

Southend have picked up 25 points from their last 33 on offer.

The Blues boss is keen to keep consistency in his side from their previous positive performances

"We’ll have an idea of how we want to go about things, but we’ll be insisting on doing the things that got us results,” said the 45-year-old.

"That won’t change but there might be slight tweaks here and there.

"Players have trained this week and trained ever so well, so we will be picking the best team to try and get the result.”

Last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Solihull Moors saw a starting line-up with three enforced changes as Harry Cardwell, Tom Clifford and Kacper Lopata were all forced to miss the match through injury.

And Maher revealed that the trio are nearing a return.

"We will know more after training tomorrow [Friday].

"Hopefully they will get through a whole session and make themselves available.

"We will get them on the grass and see where they are.”

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