ROSS HANNAH says there’s ‘no sugar-coating’ Chester’s poor form but the Blues will aim to put things right at Solihull Moors tonight.
The Blues travel to Damson Park (7.45pm) for their rearranged fixture from the opening day, with Jon McCarthy’s side languishing in the National League relegation zone, although a win tonight would see them jump up to 15th position.
It’s a pivotal week ahead for boss McCarthy, who faced further jeers at full-time of Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Torquay United, but striker Hannah believes the players must ‘share responsibility’ with their under-pressure manager for their league position.
“There’s no hiding from it, it’s been disappointing, especially after that positive result at Aldershot,” the 31-year-old said.
“The shine has been taken off that since. But we know what we’ve got in there as a group and we know how hard the gaffer works, and the information he gives us.
“The experience we have is a massive help because you don’t panic. Even here we’re behind but it’s always a case of sticking to the game plan and keep doing things you get joy with.
“I was sat on the bench thinking there were balls dropping into the box that I’d be on the end of, and funnily enough that’s how the goal has come about. Shaw’s won it, I’ve gambled and put it in the net.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been a tough week for us players, it’s the nature of the game. It’s results-based and the main thing is the character we’ve shown here and we’ve shown how much we want to play for the gaffer, the club and the fans.
“We’ve got winners in that dressing room. We’re not sugar-coating it, we know performances aren’t at the standard of what we’re capable of.
“We should take as much responsibility as the gaffer, I don’t think we’ve been at the level that we should be.
“We came here to win but it’s just as important not to lose, so if we can take the character from Torquay into Tuesday then we’ll have half a chance.”
Hannah wasn’t expected to be involved at Torquay but he recovered quickly from a calf strain to take his place on the bench and popped up in stoppage time to grab a dramatic equaliser at Plainmoor, his first goal for Chester since returning to the club from Barrow.
“I’m back a week earlier than I expected,” he continued. “With the recurrence of the injury I thought it would be a similar time frame but the gaffer met the guys at Myokinetics in Chester, they had a look at me and have got me in a great physical shape which has allowed me to come back a week early and make the bench, which was a massive bonus.
“The plan was always to come off the bench with 15 minutes to go and score! With the way it’s gone for me so far it sums it up me scoring in injury time!
“I’ve not discussed (Solihull) with the gaffer yet, this was the plan. From a personal point of view, I want to start every game but realistically I don’t want to breakdown again. I’m not match fit, I’ve not been since I came back, so it’s wise to ease myself back.
“I’ll speak to the gaffer, see where he’s at and see what team he picks on Tuesday.”
Tonight’s clash represents a winnable fixture for the Blues and three points would be a huge boost to the whole club, with a tricky home fixture against Ebbsfleet to come on Saturday, where Chester will look to avoid an unwanted club record for a winless home run, which currently stands at 14 league matches.
“We go into Solihull wanting to get the three points, as it’s that game in hand,” he added. “It’s a bonus game really with no other teams playing and if we can get the three points then it puts us in a position nearer to where we’d like to be.
“It’s a long journey back, we’ll get in to training, look at our positives and negatives like we always do and go to Solihull with the same mentality.
“If we can get three points then we can aim at getting this home win on Saturday that we all want to get sooner than later, we're all trying and let’s all stick together."
Defender John McCombe is rated doubtful for the clash with Solihull after he suffered a suspected broken nose in the 1-1 draw with Torquay.
See full story in the Chester Leader