TOM SHAW is relishing his new role as Chester’s assistant manager and says that working alongside Jon McCarthy is an ‘unbelieveable’ experience, writes DAN HEALD.

The midfielder has assumed the role of number two at the Blues and will serve as a player-manager for the club this season.

The 30-year-old says he feels privileged to have been handed the coaching position and that he has quickly found his feet in the role.

He said: “I’m enjoying it a lot so far. It’s been fantastic and the manager’s unbelievable to work for.

“I’m picking up bits off him all the time. He’s allowing me to challenge him and he’s taking on quite a few of my ideas, which is filling me with confidence.

“So I’ve really enjoyed the six weeks of coaching in pre-season and being part of leading the team, so hopefully we can get off to a strong start in the first game against Solihull Moors.”

Asked if he had missed playing in Chester’s eight-game pre-seaon programme, Shaw insisted that the demands of coaching were occupying all of his time.

“I’m so engrossed in coaching, that playing hasn’t really come into my mind,” he said. “That might change next week at Solihull if we get three points, or when we’re at Tranmere away in front of a big crowd.

“But I’ll be keeping myself fit and keeping myself in the manager’s mind if required.

“But overall I’m pleased with the role I’ve got and the way it’s panning out. The boys have been great with me so it’s all going well.”

The 1-1 draw with Port Vale saw Chester fight back from a goal down after a defensive lapse from full-back Andy Halls gifted Vale an opener.

Halls badly misjudged his headed pass back to goalkeeper Conor Mitchell allowing Rekeil Pyke to steal in and score.

But Shaw refused to single Halls out for undue criticism, with the full-back turning in an otherwise flawless display.

On the incident, Shaw added: “With those kind of things obviously I’d sooner we do it this week than when the league starts.

“But there’s going to be mistakes made this season – that’s the level of football that we’re at.

“Sometimes those type of mistakes decide the game rather than a bit of quality, but we’ve talked about that and we’ll never be harsh with anyone.

“Everyone’s trying to get the three points, trying to do what they think is right. We’ve just got to back anyone that makes a mistake and make sure that they learn from it and moving on.”

With strikers Harry White and Ross Hannah omitted from the Chester squad for the game, Shaw offered an injury update on the duo.

He added: “The medical team is working as hard as anybody to get them ready.

“It’s nothing major with either of them so they should get a good week’s training and we should have a real selection headache come Saturday.”