Kingsley James has called on Chester to ‘win at all costs’ when they face Barrow in Tuesday night’s crunch clash at the bottom of the National League table.
The Blues have slumped to 22nd in the standings following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Boreham Wood, yet they could haul themselves out of the drop zone when they tackle the managerless Bluebirds at the Deva (7.45pm).
Midfielder James admits he and his team-mates must dig themselves out of trouble soon or face their season ‘going the way no-one wants it to go’, with boss Marcus Bignot looking to add two more fresh faces to his squad before tomorrow’s encounter.
“We rallied, we worked, it wasn’t our work-rate which was lacking but we’re just giving easy goals away almost every week,” the 25-year-old said.
“The work-rate is there, we get second balls, we’re winning headers, but we’ve just given goals away and if you do that you lose football matches.
“We have to stop doing that, because if we don’t, things here are going to go the way no one here at the club wants them to go.
“If you look at their chances, I don’t think they had many others, they’ve not opened us up at any other points in the game. Yet they’ve won the game and not really had to work for it.”
Asked if the visit of Barrow is Chester’s biggest game of the season so far, James replied: “Definitely. Every game from where we are now is a big game, we’ve got to go in with the attitude that we need to win.
“We’ve got to do everything we can to win that game, regardless of how we do it, whether that’s ugly or however it comes about.
“We’ve got to have that mindset. There hasn’t been the kickstart we thought we’d get after the (Maidenhead) win.
“Now we’ve just got to win a game of football, whether that’s ugly, pretty, we’ve got to win at all costs.”
The former Halifax and Macclesfield player, who also had a season with Chester during the 2014-15 campaign, believes the Blues were left ‘deflated’ by Shaun Jeffers’ opener for Boreham Wood at the weekend, as they quickly shipped another through Bruno Andrade, both goals brought about by ‘poor decision-making’, according to James.
“It’s a natural thing that when something negative happens it does deflate people, but as a group we’ve got to be strong mentally and believe we can get back into the game,” he continued.
“When we go 1-0 down, the whole atmosphere changed for the players, I think we looked deflated after that.
“Second-half we’ve gone out and had a go and we’ve got a goal back, but it’s easy to do that when you’re 2-0 down. It is easier to do it then than it is in the first-half when it’s level.
“Our decision-making is poor, there’s no denying it. We create pressure ourselves, look at the second goal, it’s not come from Boreham Wood, it’s come from our poor decision-making.
“If a lad scores a worldie from 30 yards, there’s nothing you can do about that. But the goals we’ve conceded can be easily eradicated. It just seems to be happening too many times.
“Time and time again we keep giving teams a headstart and we’ve got to stop it or else we’re going to be in real trouble.”
The Blues can’t keep ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ says James, although they look set to be without striker James Akintunde again through injury, but Andy Halls is available after suspension, and new signing Jordan Gough could make his debut at left-back.
“We started well, I thought we were well in the game, first to a lot of balls and in possession it was difficult because of the wind which was ridiculous for both teams, so the quality wasn’t great,” he added.
“Again, we’ve gifted them two easy goals and we can’t keep doing it. It’s too many times this season when we’ve given the opposition a leg up.
“Then we’ve gone and given them the second goal, that just killed the game for us. First-half there wasn’t much else that happened but we can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot like this.”
Barrow, meanwhile, have had close to 50 applications for the vacant manager’s job.
Bluebirds managing director Andrew Casson revealed that there had been a late surge of interest in the position with a shortlist expected to be drawn up tomorrow.
For tonight’s clash, Neill Hornby will continue in his role as the club’s interim manager.
And Hornby was encouraged by what he saw from Barrow as they were beaten 3-2 by Ebbsfleet on Saturday afternoon.
“I'm very proud of the effort the team put in,” said Hornby.
“We will move on to Chester on Tuesday and be ready for it."
See full story in the Chester Leader