MARCUS BIGNOT couldn’t hide his excitement after Chester executed his plans to the letter in the 2-0 success against Maidenhead United.
Blues supporters had been yearning for some added desire, hunger and quality in possession since the season began, but they can scarcely have believed the way Bignot – only appointed three days earlier – had managed to get his philosophy across in just one training session on Thursday morning, which took place on the Swansway Chester Stadium pitch itself.
So what exactly did the 43-year-old tell his new group of players which led to such an improved performance?
“We talked about hard work and about being smarter with that hard work,” said Bignot, who has brought in Ross Thorpe as his assistant manager, the pair having worked together at both Birmingham Ladies and Solihull Moors, where he was recruitment and development officer.
“We’ve introduced a structure, an organisation within that structure with roles and responsibilities for every single player, including those coming on as well.
“That work rate, there was thinking behind it as well.
“For me, we’re only going to get better. You see what they’ve taken on board in one training session.
“Imagine what they’re capable of taking on board after a week of training, after half a dozen games, half a season of games, a season, couple of seasons, three or four years even while I’m still here because that’s the plan.”
The former Solihull and Grimsby manager made an instant impact around the club on Saturday and celebrated victory with a post-match huddle involving all his players and backroom staff, with the vast majority of Blues’ fans staying behind to applaud the team off the field.
It ended a miserable run of home form – 15 matches without a win – stretching back to December of last year, but Bignot was quick to switch his attentions to another week of hard work on the training pitch ahead of next weekend’s trip to Eastleigh.
“I love being out on the training pitch and there’s a way I think the game should be played,” he added.
“That’s in terms of winning football matches and they’ve taken on board everything we’ve asked of them and I can’t wait to get in on Monday now.
“I’m never one for speaking too much after the games because it’s gone but I’m looking forward to the next game and I can’t wait for Monday morning, being back on the grass and working on things again.”
Midfielder Craig Mahon was given a warm ovation before kick-off in his first home match since breaking the reformed club’s appearance record and he tweeted: “Nice feeling to be able to send the fans home with a positive result and performance. Hopefully it will continue @ChesterFC.”
Alex Lynch produced another calming display in goal and he posted: “Can't even tell you how good that felt! Three points and a clean sheet at home!”
See full story in the Chester Leader