Marcus Bignot admits that Chester are unable to compete with the financial clout of their National League rivals.
Ahead of tomorrow’s clash at Bromley, the Blues boss spoke candidly about the meagre monetary resources available at the fan-owned club.
Bignot admits to having to ‘beg, steal and borrow’ in the loan market to contend with the injuries that have blighted his threadbare squad this term.
But the 43-year-old boss is adamant that the struggling Blues can turn their season around and pull themselves clear of danger with some ‘cute’ transfer dealings.
Asked what it would take to transform their ailing fortunes, Bignot said: “It’s about how hard we’re willing to work in all areas of the football club – on and off the pitch.
“And by hard work, I mean by us being smarter. Financially we can’t compete with anybody in this league and I mean every team in this league.
“But what I think we’re seeing at the club is a group of players who are getting to some good performance levels now
“We’ve seen a recruitment style that has been beg, steal and borrow, but it’s added to the competition here as well as the depth and balance.
“There will be more setbacks along the way, but it’s how you bounce back from those setbacks and that’s the challenge we look forward to here.”
A penalty shoot-out defeat at Altrincham in the Cheshire Senior Cup in midweek has not derailed Bignot’s unwavering optimism either.
The disappointment of the result notwithstanding, Bignot insists the tie provided valuable game time for some of his younger and more peripheral squad players.
The youngsters involved drew effusive praise from their manager who hailed them as the ‘massive positives’ on an otherwise forgettable evening.
He said:“If you look at some of the young boys who played, it was the first time that we’ve been able to put them into a competitive situation.
“Lloyd Marsh-Hughes who came on and looked every bit the player we’re hoping he is going to become.
“Rhain Hellawell is another who never fails to impress with his sheer enthusiasm, desire and hard work that goes into being the best he can be.
“And then we had Alex Downes who came on and in that situation we put them in and two of them have stepped up to take penalties.
“So to put them into that environment and that experience of competition under pressure, you can’t recreate that in training, so these are massive positives for us because they’ve come through, impressed and done well.
“They’ve faced a situation that’s only going to make them stronger mentally, so apart from the result it was a good night for us.”
Currently 22nd in the league table, an away victory tomorrow could lift the Blues above their fellow strugglers and out of the bottom four.
A 1-0 derby defeat to arch rivals Wrexham left a sour taste, with Bignot aggrieved that his side took nothing from the contest.
On the clash against sixth-placed Bromley, the Blues boss knows more than most about the opposition.
A former Millwall player, Bignot is well acquainted with The Ravens, whose training ground is less than five miles from The Den.
He said: “They were our next door neighbours and one of my ex-players from Grimsby is down there right now.
“I watched Bromley against Guiseley recently and I can see why they are where they are.
“We do our homework on the opposition, we do our due diligence. But it’s about us and we’re getting some good performances in terms of our consistency.
“So it’s about finding a way to turn those performances into results and it’s an opportunity on Saturday and Tuesday to eat away into a healthy points return.
“We’ll be going to Bromley after playing well against Wrexham.
”But I’ve said to the players now that we’ve learned from that game, and with what we’ve told them and shown them since then – is that if we played Wrexham on Saturday I believe there would be a different result.
“So they’re learning, growing and understanding and I feel we’re getting ever closer to where we want this group to be.”
On-loan defender Reece Hall-Johnson remains sidelined with injury for the clash, while skipper John McCombe will be assessed today.
See full story in the Chester Leader