Matlock Town boss Dave Hoole says his side are ready for the challenge as they step up their pre season programme.

The Gladiators face three games in four days including two attractive home matches as Gresley arrive on Saturday followed by Chesterfield and Burton Albion on Monday and Tuesday night. It looks a tough ask for Town’s part-time players whose fitness levels will be severely tested, but boss Dave Hoole says his squad are looking forward to the different challenges of playing a non-league side to professional sides will bring.

“No disrespect at all to Gresley but it’s a good time to play them,” Hoole said with Matlock expected to enjoy a greater share of the possession than they did in last Thursday’s 4-1 home defeat by Derby County under 23’s.

“It’ll be a benchmark of where we are, I have my views of where we should be at this point of time and the game on Saturday should show us where we are.

“Then we play Chesterfield and Burton and against the pro-sides fitness is a massive thing because the pro -sides are training every day and that showed especially against Derby.

“Our fitness should be getting there as time goes on, against the pro sides it’s what you do without the ball that’s important.”

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