CHIPPENHAM Town boss Mark Collier says the club are preparing for one of their biggest games of the season as they welcome local rivals Bath City to Hardenhuish Park.

The two sides met for the first time in 10 years earlier this season, and it was the National League new boys who came out on top with a 5-2 success – their first win of the season.

A total of 137 days later, the game represents a different challenge for Collier’s Bluebirds as they are now without top scorer Dave Pratt, while the Romans have a new manager at the helm in Jerry Gill.

Despite the chop and change, Collier says his troops, who have had a week off, are refreshed and eager to do the double of their rivals.

“The week off was a good thing. It meant that everyone was nice and bright at training on Tuesday night,” he said.

“We had done a lot of miles on the road, so it was nice to have a little break ready for three massive games in close proximity.

“Bath is the big one for the club, the logistics of the two clubs being so close together means we are expecting a decent gate, and there is history between the two clubs.

“We know lots about them, they know lots about them. Since we played them they’ve made some astute signings and have a new manager, so it is a good yardstick.

Chippenham’s double signing of Curtis MacDonald and Robbie Pattern have gone some way to plug the gap left by Pratt.

Despite the duo joining the club, Collier says he is still on the look out for further additions to strengthen his hand at Hardenhuish Park.

“There have been no more signings. The question has been asked about Pratt’s replacement and the situation is we are speaking to various professional clubs,” he added.

“Obviously, they won’t be letting any of their players go out until January, which I understand and respect.

“Signing a player to replace Pratt has to be the right type of player and the right type of person so we need to make sure it is right, and we aren’t going to be rushing into doing that.”