Marcus Bignot admits Chester’s fortunes will ‘fluctuate’ between now and the end of the season but believes his side have what it takes to haul themselves out of trouble.
The Blues lie 22nd in the table ahead of Saturday’s rearranged trip to Eastleigh, where a win would drag his team out of the bottom four, with Wednesday’s cross-border derby against rivals Wrexham around the corner.
Performances have certainly improved since Bignot’s wishes to move to a full-time set-up were approved, with a 3-2 win at Barrow followed by a 1-0 defeat at Maidstone where the Blues were unlucky not to have returned north with a point.
“The last two games we’ve seen two very positive performances and we should have come away with two positive results,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone would've complained if we’d come away with a point last weekend. But the performance was encouraging and we’ve now strung two performances together that we wanted to see.
“It’s encouraging and of course, I think the extra day is helping. But it's small steps, marginal gains and working with everyone at improving in different areas.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. The season will fluctuate, we won’t be winning every week, but what you are now seeing is performances each week.
“What I feel we’re now putting in place is a solid base that will give us a chance of either getting ourselves out of the position we find ourselves in, or – if we do still find ourselves (in the relegation zone) at the business end of the season, we’re in a better position to get out of it.
“These two games, our game in hand followed by the derby against Wrexham, are two matches I’ve been looking forward to and hopefully we can deliver two good results to go with that.”
Bignot has a good relationship with tomorrow’s opposition number Richard Hill, who was a coach at Loftus Road during Bignot’s time as a player there, and he considers Eastleigh’s current league situation to be similar to the Blues.
“I know Richard Hill well from my time as a player at QPR,” he continued. “For me, Eastleigh are very much in a similar situation to ourselves where they are struggling to find that consistency, they are like us in that regard, results have been up and down.
“They will see this as a good chance to get a result, looking at the table, but we go there full of confidence that we can produce another positive performance and come away with a result."
The Blues will be without midfielder Tom Shaw this weekend with a knee injury but could welcome Craig Mahon back into the fold after a month on the sidelines, while Bignot has praised the versatility of his squad in recent weeks, highlighting Andy Halls’ switch to midfield in last week’s reversal at Maidstone where he performed well.
“We’re looking at this group now and trying to maximise what they can offer us, as we are thin on the ground,” he added.
“We look to draw on the experience of some of our senior players. Andy Halls lost his place due to suspension and then Reece Hall-Johnson has come in and done very well at right-back.
“So we look at Andy’s ability and bring him into midfield for last week’s game and I thought he did very well. That chance arose and he took it. So we do have to juggle things about a bit in terms of positions but we’re doing ok ahead of Saturday.”
See full story in the Chester Leader