CRAIG MAHON has backed under pressure manager Jon McCarthy to turn around Chester’s ailing fortunes.
The Blues suffered a disappointing end to last season in 19th place and are yet to win in four outings this term, slipping into the early National League relegation zone following last weekend’s 3-2 defeat against Sutton United.
McCarthy, yet to win at home in 2017, came underfire from supporters during a limp first-half display against Sutton, and was involved in verbal exchanges with sections of the main stand.
However, a thunderous strike from Mahon reduced arrears on the stroke of half-time and the Blues produced a serious reaction for McCarthy in the second-half, ultimately unlucky to not secure a deserved point.
For Irish winger Mahon, there’s no doubting McCarthy’s ability to haul Chester back up the table, starting with Saturday’s trip to Aldershot.
“For me personally I love playing for this club and I love playing for the gaffer. What he does for this club behind the scenes, that no one else sees, it’s fantastic,” Mahon explained. “The gaffer has something different, you couldn’t ask to work under anyone better.
“His game plans, his knowledge of football, his training sessions are fantastic, and the fact he’s brought Tom Shaw in and his knowledge of football too.
“Add to that Chris Iwelumo who coaches the strikers and Dave Felgate with the goalkeepers and I think we’ve got one of the best backroom staffs in the league.
“It’ll all click soon and we’ll be able to show the fans why we were all so excited at the start of the season because we’ve got a fantastic team here. I don’t think people realise how much we all love playing for Chester.
“Yes, we’ve picked up a few injuries but there’s lads on the fringe and on the bench who can really push each other. If they all get into the squad and we start clicking then we can do something special.”
In the wake of the defeat against Paul Doswell’s league leaders, McCarthy criticised his side for not following their game plan in the opening 45 minutes and Mahon agreed wholeheartedly with his manager’s summary of a lacklustre first period.
“It was tough to take on Saturday,” the 28-year-old continued. “As a group of players and staff we know it wasn’t good enough.
“We let the manager down, we didn’t execute the game plan the gaffer gave us, we didn’t use it or do that.
“Second-half we showed what we can do. Sutton are top of the league yet we were much the better side and could have went on to win it.
“Conceding in the last minute, obviously that was tough and it’s something we’re going to learn from.
“We’re all still learning from football every week, we’ll learn from that mistake so we’ll take that into the Aldershot game this week and hopefully we’ll get a win.
“The thing is with the lads we have, with the gaffer and everything, tactically we don’t fear anybody. We’ve got to make sure as players we go out there and do what the gaffer has asked us to do.
“If we do what he gives us to do then I think we can get three points away from home, it doesn’t matter if we’re away or at home, we’ll put in the same effort every game and we’ll go down there looking for the three points.”
Mahon has now moved onto 154 appearances for the Blues and looks set to break George Horan’s all-time appearance record for the reformed club of 159 if he stays fit into a busy September where the Blues face seven games in 28 days.
“That means the world to me that,” he added on Chester FC TV. “To say I’ve stayed at the same club like Chester for that many games is fantastic for me and my family.
“I know my mum and dad are proud of me and my boys will be as well, but it’s fantastic to just be able to say I’ve played over 150 games for Chester.
“The fans have been fantastic with their support and hopefully I can repay them with getting a few more goals and points.”
See full story in the Chester Leader