Ross Thorpe believes Chester’s next two home league fixtures are crucial if they are to haul themselves out of danger.
The Blues grabbed a vital point in last weekend’s goalless National League draw at Tranmere Rovers to move within a point of 20th-placed Barrow, although a small gap is beginning to develop between those teams immediately above the Blues.
A trip to Kidderminster in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round provides a break from league action this weekend but that is followed by back-to-back home games against Boreham Wood and Barrow, which assistant manager Thorpe accepts are fixtures he and boss Marcus Bignot have targeted.
“When we got the job, me and the gaffer sat down and looked at those first six games,” the 36-year-old explained. “Four of those are at home and we felt it was important to get off to a good start and the fans will see what Marcus is trying to implement and how the players go about implementing it.
“Those four home games are massive. We’ve played two, we’ve had an important win against Maidenhead.
“But if we can get some positive results from these home games coming up, we’ll get this place rocking with the fans behind us. It would give us every chance.”
Thorpe worked previously with Bignot at Solihull Moors and Birmingham Ladies and was delighted to answer the call when the 43-year-old asked him to take up the number two role at Chester.
“It’s really exciting, from the first week I came into the job there’s been lots of positives and we’ve both had a really big welcome from everyone at the club, it’s been first class,” he said. “When we worked together at Solihull and Birmingham it was good, Grimsby didn’t quite come off. Now it’s all about Chester and he’s buzzing to be back, I can see he’s got the buzz back in him.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to unearth a few players. I’ve come through the lower leagues before and that’s when I came in to help the gaffer in the Solihull days.
“It’s about finding good players underneath but also identifying the good players we’ve got in our system and getting them that bit closer to the gaffer’s plans.
“I’m 36 years of age and I’ve worked with the gaffer for nearly three years now at different clubs. It’s a good environment, a good level and hopefully we take the club forward.”
Thorpe, who also coaches at Nottingham Trent University, has been impressed by the way the Blues squad have taken on board Bignot’s methods and instruction and believes if they continue to put in the hard yards on the training pitch, results will quickly follow.
“We didn’t spend a lot of time with the players at first, we gave them the information and just asked them to go out and play a game of football,” he continued.
“After that first week it was pleasing how the players came out and played the way the gaffer wants them to play football.
“For us it’s not about who we’re playing, it’s all about us. It’s about what we can control, how we control it and we believe we can control games of football.
“At this level of football, whether they have big budgets or not, there are good teams and good players but we’ve got players with lots of experience, so it’s about going into games worrying about ourselves rather than the opposition.”
See full story in the Chester Leader