ALEX LYNCH admits there’s ‘no hiding’ from the fact Chester are embroiled in a serious battle to save their National League status.
The Blues suffered a 4-0 humbling at the hands of title-chasing Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday, capitulating in the second-half with some dreadful defending embarrassing the players in front of the television cameras.
Favourable results elsewhere means Marcus Bignot’s men remain just three points adrift of safety but the manner of their second-half display was that of a group resigned to their fate, and goalkeeper Lynch stressed Chester must ‘improve quickly’ or face relegation to National League North.
“Without a doubt we’re in a relegation battle, I think everyone knows that in there,” said Lynch, with the Blues now facing a two-week break from action due to AFC Fylde’s involvement in the FA Cup second round.
“There’s no hiding from that now. Up until the second-half against Dagenham performances have been better but it’s literally a case that we’ve got to start to put points on the board.
“Over the next couple of months I would much rather not play well and pick up three points here and there, or pick up the odd point on the road. I’d rather do that than lose, as it’s going to come down to grit, determination and character.
“When the first goal goes in it’s always difficult. We were the better team first-half but maybe as a team we need to use our experience more.
“You go one-down in games and you’ve got to come back fighting and we’ve not done that well enough.
“With the mis-communication and mistakes, these things happen in football, but for us at the moment they are happening way too often. It’s something we’ve got to address.
“With me and the back four, everyone as a unit and a team has to improve, and it needs to change quickly, or we’ll go down.”
The 22-year-old accepts the display against Dagenham ‘wasn’t good enough’ and highlighted the fact ‘basic errors’ have contributed to all four of the visitors goals, which were scored with ease.
“We’re extremely disappointed in ourselves,” the Holyhead-born keeper explained. “I’m very disappointed for everyone.
“In the first-half we dominated most parts of that half and we were looking good. Everyone just could have done with creating chances.
“The second-half was nowhere near good enough. It’s basics, one goal goes in and then if we look back at the other goals, me included, as a team we’ve got to do better. There’s preventable parts of every one of the goals.”
The Blues stopper refused to blame Tuesday’s 10-hour journey back from Leyton Orient as a reason for the tired second-half display four days later, as the team coach got caught in standstill traffic on the M1 following a bad accident and didn’t return to Chester until 8.30am the following morning.
“It’s a long week but people have tougher weeks in this world than us,” Lynch added.
“You can look at it, it’s not ideal, two trips to London and then probably we’re fatigued after that journey, but I can’t sit here and use that as an excuse because we’ve had a tough week.
“We’ve got to dig in, in those situations and like I say there’s people out there having a tougher week. We’ve got to do more.”
For boss Bignot, the break from action comes at a time when he is desperate for players to regain fitness, and could welcome back Tom Shaw, Harry White and Craig Mahon for the visit of Solihull on December 9, with Ryan Astles expected to be fully fit having played 25 minutes from the bench at the weekend.
The visit of Solihull is set to come too early though for Reece Hall-Johnson (hamstring) and Jordan Archer (groin).
“The two-week break comes at the right time,” Bignot added. “We’ll look to get more bodies back in. Tom Shaw, Craig Mahon, Ryan Astles, Harry White, they may all have a chance.”
See full story in the Chester Leader