Marcus Bignot believes Chester are becoming a ‘hard team to beat’ away from home after securing a valuable point at AFC Fylde.
Chester have suffered just two defeats in nine National League away games since Bignot took charge in mid-September, with Harry White’s equaliser securing a draw at Mill Farm on Tuesday night which dragged the Blues to within five points of safety, with a game in hand on their rivals.
Bignot pointed to his side’s away record of late as cause for optimism and called on the ‘superb’ backing from Chester’s travelling fans to be replicated when they return to league action at the Deva on January 20 when Gateshead are the visitors.
“We were good value for a point, from memory we’ve had a couple of super chances to go and take the lead as well,” said Bignot, who confirmed John McCombe is currently out injured.
“I’m really pleased with the performance and getting a positive result. We’re disappointed with the goal we’ve conceded, it’s a restart and we’ve spoke about it so hugely disappointed with that but to come back in the manner we did was pleasing.
“If you take the Halifax game out, we’re a hard team to beat on the road. We’ve got something now, the penny has dropped with the group and they are understanding what it takes to get results in this league.
“Hopefully the supporters can see that now, and I thought they were superb (at Fylde) and really positive. It’s important we transfer our last three performances to the pitch at home and it’s important the supporters play their part as well in terms of changing the environment at home.
“I’m sick to death of managers coming into my office and talking about our supporters. We’ve shown a togetherness tonight on and off the pitch and I’m going to need that for our 18 cup finals left, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“The players will have been pleased with the performance our supporters gave, and the supporters will be pleased with the players’ performance. We’re only going to do this together."
Five points from three tricky away trips to Guiseley, Ebbsfleet and Fylde has raised hopes Chester could pull off the ‘great escape’ but Bignot refused to get carried away when asked if this was his most satisfactory week since taking charge.
“They’re a talented team with individual players who can hurt you,” he continued.
“I thought our structure and organistation was impressive in terms of limited a free-scoring team in this league.
“Football is full of ups and downs, we’ve been one kick away from seven points out of nine from three games on the road. Ebbsfleet hadn’t lose at home in ages, Fylde are free-scoring and Guiseley did a job on us at home.
“I didn’t get carried away the week prior to that, and I’m not going to get carried away the week we’ve had now but what you’re seeing is a sign of things to come on and off the pitch. “
Teenage centre-half James Jones produced an excellent display at Fylde alongside Ryan Astles and the 18-year-old was singled out for praise by the manager.
“The situation we’re in, I needed to take James Jones out of the firing line, he’s only 18 and he’s got that experience now. When he’s 19 I’ve no doubt he’ll be in these situations again,” Bignot added.
“To come back in against a quality player like Danny Rowe, he’ll have learned a lot tonight. He’s got the ability to play week-in-week-out but for him to become established at this level he’s got a lot of hard work to do.
“We’ve got Ross and Harry who are naturally goalscorers, it’s instinctive it comes natural to the pair of them. Ross has had a major contribution to the goal and he can be pleased with his contribution to the game.
“That’s two 90-minutes, two goals for Harry so the stats suggest whenever he plays 90 minutes he scores a goal! So let’s hope we have many more 90 minutes from him.”