TOM SHAW hopes he will remain involved in Chester’s backroom staff when a new manager is appointed this week.
The 30-year-old – who was appointed as player/assistant manager in the summer – accepts it will very much be a waiting game to see whether the Blues’ fourth permanent manager since reforming wants to keep him on the coaching staff.
Interviews for the job begin on Monday and will conclude Tuesday, with the likes of Marcus Bignot, Kevin Davies, Paul Carden, Steve Watson and Ronnie Moore all understood to be in the frame.
Graham Barrow remains heavily linked with a return to the club and news of Gary Caldwell's sacking at Chesterfield on Saturday evening has only increased the likelihood there could be a role at the Deva for the Blues legend, who had been Caldwell's assistant at the Spireites.
“I’ll be interested to see what they’ve got in store for me,” Shaw said, speaking after Saturday’s disappointing 4-0 defeat at Dover Athletic.
“I’ve got a playing contract and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being assistant manager, I just hope I survive but I’m not sure what sort of role I’ll have at the club yet.
“I love working at this club and whatever job I can do, I’ll do. Hopefully the new man will have me on board and I can help them out however they want me to.
“The players have given me everything over the past 10 days during a tricky period for all the club.
“I’d like to thank Mark and the board for giving me this opportunity to front it up and it’s been a big learning curve.
“I went over to thank the fans at the end, to apologise for the scoreline. It’s amazing they make that kind of effort to come down and I wish we could’ve got some points for them this week but fair play to them for coming down.
“It’s a club that has the potenital to go places. When you’re doing well at home, the Deva can be rocking so the new manager needs to find a way to get results, entertain a little bit, but mainly get results.”
Shaw admitted a return of one point from his three games in charge was a sense of frustration but feels the Blues must learn how to ‘go and win matches’ in order to haul themselves clear of the relegation zone.
The Blues were second-best for much of their Dover defeat and gifted Chris Kinnear’s side a first-half lead as Giancarlo Gallifuoco was allowed a free-header four yards out.
Chester briefly rallied but once Mitch Pinnock made it two on the hour mark, there was no way back, and it was far too easy for Nortei Nortey and Mitch Brundle to make it 4-0, with Shaw admitting his players failed to ‘stand up and fight’ against the high-flying hosts.
“I'm stood here thinking have I overthought things? They play in a strange way, they follow you man-for-man across the pitch, basketball-style,” said Shaw.
“We came up with a plan to try and affect that, I think we did for 20 minutes, thought we were on top of the game.
“Our game plan got us in good positions but it's just that final bit. It's hard to find a pass, it's hard to get spare and even when you do, they have Connor Essam sweeping up.
“We've made an error, conceded from a set-play, it's what they are after. They grind you down, work hard, tackle hard, head it, kick it. It's not pretty but it's effective and you have to take your hat off to their manager for how he sets them up. It's completely different but it works.
“You have to stand up to that side of things. Forget tactics, rotating in midfield, you have to stand up to the scrap and the fight, because if you don't, they'll grind you down and beat you.
“They've got physicality, each player is big, strong, mobile. That's what's come out on top in the end, they get on top physically.
“We played well before the goal but it proves that results in this division are decided in both boxes, you have to effect it in theirs.
“Maybe I'll reflect on it and think we should've just carried on like we did Tuesday, but their endeavour came out on top.”
Asked if some of his players lacked the ‘right attitude’ for a relegation battle, Shaw replied: “I don't think you can question the attitude at any point in the season. Even today, you can see the lads working, they wanted to get back into it.
“It's not the attitude at all, the ability is there but we miss that edge. Dover have got it, maybe it's a lack of confidence but it's a job for next appointment to find a way.”
“Going 2-0 down and the way they are, following you everywhere, it is difficult, I've played against them and they are hard to play against if you're not winning.
“It can get on top of you. Maybe that's got on top of us slightly.
“But we had as many entries into the box as them, crosses, chances, we're about level. But we've got nothing, they've scored four.
“That's the ruthlessness that I've touched on, we have to get that into this group of players.
“I've failed to do that, the previous manager failed with it. It's a good group of players but they've got to find the edge to win games.”
See full story in the Chester Leader