Chester FC must 'pull together' ahead of crucial Guiseley trip

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

Mark Maguire has called on everybody connected with Chester to ‘pull together’ in a bid to avoid relegation to National League North.

Marcus Bignot’s side head to Guiseley on New Year’s Day (3pm) having seen their weekend home clash with Hartlepool United postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at the Deva.

The past two performances from the Blues – 4-0 and 2-0 defeats against Halifax and Guiseley respectively – have left the side eight points adrift of safety and chief executive Maguire admits the ‘fragmented’ club need to rally together if they are to avoid dropping out of non-league’s top tier.

“We went into the Christmas period thinking we had two winnable fixtures against Halifax and Guiseley,” Maguire said.

“Performances have clearly not been up to scratch and I fully understand why the fans are fed up, and I champion their right to make their feelings known.

“I’m sure people are fed up of listening to me saying these things, as results have not picked up, but I have spent the days since Guiseley looking at how we can turn this situation around.

“Everyone at the club needs to pull together. If we’re a fragmented club then we’ll get relegated, as that’s what happens to fragmented clubs.

“Or we can put our issues to one side and try to rally behind Marcus and the players. But I fully appreciate that has to start with the players and they have to give our fans something to shout about, as recent performances have not been good enough.

“The players have a responsibility to the football club and I still believe we can get out of the situation we find ourselves in and stay up.”

Standing water on the pitch on Friday afternoon prompted a pitch inspection ahead of Saturday’s fixture, and with heavy rain forecast overnight the decision was taken to avoid Hartlepool having to make the long trip cross-country on Saturday morning.

“We were informed on Friday around lunchtime that there were issues of standing water and the ball not rolling on the pitch,” Maguire explained.

“The protocol is to call a local referee so Joe Johnson who officiates in the National League came down and straight away he wasn’t happy with the pitch. With the forecast for further heavy rain into Friday night, we felt it was the right decision to make.

“We’ve complained earlier this season about things not being done in the right way so I’d like to think in this instance we kept everyone in the know about what was happening and made the right decision for the travelling team, given Hartlepool were due to leave at 7.45am.”

Asked if boss Bignot would be given extra funds to strengthen his squad further in January, Maguire refused to rule out additions but did stress there has been a number of arrivals since Bignot took charge in September.

“We’re always on the lookout for players,” he added.

“Marcus has already brought a number of players into the squad since his arrival, and I think those players have had a positive impact since coming in.

“We do believe there is the quality within the squad to keep us up.”

Email:

charlie.croasdale@nwn.co.uk

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read