CHELMSFORD City manager Rod Stringer is ready for a tough start to the National League South season when Gloucester City visit Melbourne Park on Saturday.

The Clarets final pre-season friendly ended in a 2-1 defeat to National League rivals Sutton United last weekend, ending a previously unbeaten pre-season schedule.

And Stringer is looking forward to the new campaign.

“We wouldn’t know a lot about them (Gloucester),” said Stringer.

“I’m sure they wouldn’t know a lot about us.

“I don’t know If they had us watched or not.

“We’ll piece together a team that will be good enough for today and we’ll go again but I’m sure they’ll be a tough opposition.

“I’ve been in the Northern League for a season-and-a-half and I know it’s a tough league.

“It’s more of a physical league than this but I believe Gloucester are more of a footballing team so, like anything, if we do not turn up then it will be tough.

“But they have to travel down and it would be nice that they go back with nothing come five o’clock.”

Chelmsford took the lead against Sutton through Michael West’s overhead kick on 18 minutes.

But two goals in three minutes from Kieron Cadogan saw the National League side take a 2-1 lead, which they held onto until the final whistle.

The Clarets came close late to equalising more than once, but the home side’s superiority showed as Chelmsford were unable to maintain their 100 per cent pre-season record.

Chelmsford have also signed former Norwich United goalkeeper Jake Jessup and former Oxford City and Aldershot Town winger Jonny Giles.