Marcus Bignot backs Chester players to answer their critics ahead of home double-header

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

MARCUS BIGNOT feels his Chester side can answer their critics and haul themselves out of the National League relegation zone.

The commitment and ability of the Blues’ squad came into question from Bignot, the fans and media after their dismal FA Cup exit at Kidderminster Harriers last week, but Chester’s boss is confident his outfit have the aptitude to bounce back with three points against Boreham Wood tomorrow (3pm).

A crucial home double-header faces the whole club, with Tuesday’s clash with Barrow already having the feel of a crunch encounter at the wrong end of the division.

“Saturday and Tuesday gives us a great opportunity,” explained Bignot, who expects to have Ross Hannah back available after a hamstring strain.

“By 9.30pm on Tuesday evening, we could be out of the bottom four and that’s our focus, that’s what we’re concentrating on and what our work all week has been about.

“There’s two big home games with a real good opportunity to get out of the bottom four. If we can come out of these games out of that relegation zone, then I think that answers the fans’ questions (towards the attitude of the players).

“We’ve done our due dilligence on Boreham Wood, they will ask some questions of us.

“But our focus is on us and these two games against them and Barrow. It’s a super opportunity for us and hopefully we can achieve our objective.”

The 43-year-old has been delighted to add right-back Reece Hall-Johnson to his squad after he penned a loan deal until January yesterday, arriving from Grimsby Town, who he only signed for on Monday.

Bignot revealed both Hall-Johnson, who is set to start tomorrow in place of the suspended Andy Halls, and fellow new arrival Offrande Zanzala are just the type of physical players he had looked to add to his ranks.

“With Harry not being fully fit and Ross being out last week we had to act and Zanzala will certainly provide more competition in terms of what we’re looking for,” he continued.

“I thank the parent clubs for allowing us to have their players which has been a benefit to us.

“We’ve got to be cute with our recruitment, we know the financial situation.

“Reece and Offrande come in from league clubs who have helped us financially with the deals and understood the situation and the benefits to those players.

“It’s nice to bring players in who have already been out on-loan. When we do our recruitment we have a wishlist and it’s a big tick if they’re a second-time loanee as they are used to the quick settling in period.

“The genetics of the two lads is only going to complement the players. You’ve got to have all sorts of physical attributes in the group as you can become one-dimensional if you don’t.

“We’ve looked at all areas and on the pitch these two outfield players tick a lot of boxes for us to complement the good things we’ve got going already in this squad.

“If there’s any lads with niggles then training Friday gives them the best possible chance to get out on the pitch on a Saturday.”

Bignot was pleased with his side’s display in a 2-0 in-house friendly against Salford City on Tuesday and impressive performances from youngsters James Jones and Tom Crawford may have forced Bignot’s hand to include them in his matchday 16 tomorrow.

“There’s been a reaction from the players and it’s taken us into the second-half of the week in a positive manner,” he added.

“Tom and James stood out, we were impressed, the trialists, youngsters and fringe players all impressed and the manner of the result was impressive.

“James has been on the bench in recent weeks and Tom hasn’t had much game-time because of the operation he had.

“We got more than we anticipated, we got a superb result and performance against a very strong Salford team so I was delighted and everyone of them who took part can be very pleased with the way they applied themselves.”

Email:

charlie.croasdale@nwn.co.uk

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