Johnny Hunt has warned Chester not to ‘slacken off’ as they prepare for their final seven matches of the campaign.
The Blues lie 13th in the National League, eight points clear of the drop zone and in all likelihood just one win away from completely securing their safety for next season, which could arrive tomorrow at Torquay United.
The Gulls are hovering above the relegation places and Chester – with little to play for in mid-table – may appear ideal opposition for Kevin Nicholson’s men, but Hunt insists the Blues will continue to fight for each of the 21 points on offer between now and April 29.
“Torquay are fighting for their lives, there’s nothing like an easy winnable fixture in this league,” said Hunt, who is likely to be part of an unchanged line-up at Plainmoor.
“We’ll go there looking to win the game but they are scrapping and it’ll be tough, but if we play like we did against Barrow, we’d have a good chance.
“We feel as though we’re not as expansive away from home, we’re more solid but we go there to win and come home with three points.
“You can’t slacken off. You can’t become a team for these final six or seven games that other teams play and think ‘that’s a good team to be playing at this stage of the season’.
“We’d done well up until Christmas and this whole club has to change it’s mentality now, let’s be hungry and go into next year thinking ‘let’s get in the play-offs’.
“Aldershot and Gateshead are good examples, I know their wage bills are significantly different but it doesn’t mean we can’t have a mentality like that and we need that drilled into us as a group of lads.
“I don’t mean that from the manager, more from the lads themselves in the changing room, the mentality of winning games, picking up points when we don’t have a right to, taking points to climb up that table.
“When you’re in a good position, fight for everything to stay in that position. We were seventh after we beat Aldershot here, we’ve had a bad run since, but even if we’d only taken half that amount of points since, we’d have given ourselves an outside chance.
“Hopefully we can get there as a club.” The Blues suffered a fifth home defeat on the bounce on Tuesday as Barrow emerged 2-1 winners at the Deva, in a feisty clash, which featured several acts of gamesmanship from the visitors, and Hunt feels Chester lack such attributes.
“It was another hard one to take. They’ve done a job on us and I’ve said it a few times this year we’ve got to grow up,” he continued.
“We’re sloppy for the first goal, and it’s a mistake for the second but Lynchy has kept us in plenty of games this season so we can’t blame him.
“As a team we played some good football, without creating that much in the attacking third. The frustrating thing is we’re not that far off the likes of Barrow. They had more experience and got over the line, that’s why they are where they are in the league.
“We’ve thrown at least 15 points away this season in games where we’re the better side and have lost or drawn, whereas when you’re at the top, you draw or win if you’re not playing well.
“I think we were the better side, they didn’t create much. Being the better team gets you nowhere in this league, you’ve got to know how to get points, that’s what we need to get to.”
Despite not winning at home since December 17, the 26- year-old defender believes the Blues aren’t feeling the pressure from the home crowd.
“The home run isn’t playing on our minds, I didn’t know that until you told me!
“Confidence has been low of late and being a young team, when confidence is low it’s probably harder to turn it around,” he added.
“Macclesfield were good, but games like Barrow and Eastleigh, we should be taking points from those games. That’s the difference.”
See full story in the Chester Leader