Marcus Bignot says he is the right man to lead Chester forward and retains belief he can keep the Blues up.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Ebbsfleet United, Bignot gave a passionate response to questions over the future of the club, who are languishing in the National League’s bottom four, some eight points adrift of safety, accepting some ‘home truths’ had been exchanged between himself, the board and his players.
Bignot admitted keeping Chester in non-league’s top tier represents his biggest challenge in management, and feels he remains the ‘best candidate’ to take the club forward, whether that be in their current division or National League North.
Asked if he was confident Chester would be playing National League football next season, Bignot replied: “It’s a good job I’ve got that belief because if I was to walk around the place and listen to people then we might as well not come in and train.
“You ask the players have I got the belief? I certainly have and now it’s about inspiring everyone around us.
“This is my hardest job in football, with a shadow of a doubt, but it’s the one I’m going to enjoy the most.
“We want to remain in this league because we can move forward with the experience we’ll have got.
“If there’s one thing I’m not bad at, it’s building football clubs. There’s an opportunity to build one here but I don’t want to build one in National League North.
“Have I built one in there and got out of it? Yes I have, so I’m still the best candidate, but I want to build this club in the National (League).
“My players have been told home truths, and rightly so, and I’ve told the club some home truths, rightly so. What’s been encouraging is we’ve got good people at the football club and there’s more good people out there and I welcome every good person to get involved.
“If we go down, we won’t be the Chester who rose through the leagues, that Conference North is a beast, an animal. So we’ve got to do everything we can in our power to stay up.
“Staying up will be the biggest achievement of this football club, ever. January will show the reality and by no means does that mean we’ll be waving the white flags and downing tools, it just drives me on to get this group (safe) as it would bring huge satisfaction.
“It’s a David and Golliath situation and we’ve got a cause that every part of this football club must get behind. It’s a call to arms and by hook or by crook, if we remain in this league it’ll be a free-for-all round my house!”
The Blues came in for stinging criticism lately after desperate defeats at the hands of Halifax Town (4-0) and Guiseley (2-0) but Bignot’s side produced a much-improved performance in the reverse fixture at Guiseley on New Year’s Day despite conceding a last-gasp equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
“Some of our senior players have come in for criticism and rightly so,” he continued.
“But they can’t be criticised for what they put in at Guiseley. Our youngster were able to flourish and everybody has to come on board.
“Going back to the board meeting, in some areas it’s needs-must. I’m not going to get my wish list and I knew that coming in but you’ll all agree the business we’ve done is needs-must and the club will support it. We’re now all going in the right direction and we all want this.
“I know we’ve got to play our part but if you can’t get behind a team that put in a performance like that (Guiseley), that warranted a winning performance, then we need to get that out of them.
“There’s been some home truths, the senior players have to step up and there’s accountability consequences if we don’t get winning performances.
“You won’t always get the win, there’s bits of bad luck there, we had a legitimate goal chalked off against Guiseley that if it were given then we wouldn’t even be talking about the last-minute equaliser.
“The players have responded to what we’ve put in place (since Boxing Day) and I’ve got massive belief in them.
“Performances prior to that, you start to question them like everybody has, but that performance showed we’re ready for the fight and the task in hand, and we call on everyone to get behind us.”