Chester FC: Jon McCarthy denies his job is under threat after Sutton United defeat


Charlie Croasdale

JON MCCARTHY was forced to deny his job is under threat after Chester’s 5-2 thrashing at Sutton United.

The Blues produced a performance devoid of passion, quality or defensive discipline and it was effectively game over at half-time as they trailed 3-0.

Chester have collected a miserly 13 points since the turn of the year and although they are highly unlikely to be relegated, their shocking form has led to questions being raised about the future of manager McCarthy.

“I'm disappointed with that,” McCarthy said.

“My target from the board was to keep Chester up. I feel I've managed that, they said keep us up and get us as high up towards halfway as possible. I feel I'm on track for that and the question is a little bit out of left field.

“But maybe that minority is starting to get its voice heard. But I hope there's enough people out there who realise what a difficult job it was to keep Chester up this season. If you don't, go out there and say it.

“There's a noisy minority but there's also a silent majority who appreciate what we've done here and we've now kept this club in the National League for the past two years, which is no tall order.”

McCarthy accepted Chester were in no mood to celebrate at Gander Green Lane despite results elsewhere effectively securing their National League status.

“I'm trying to look for positives but I'm struggling,” he added. “I thank our supporters who stayed to applaud us. We're not celebrating at the end, we wanted to do it ourselves but other results have gone well for us and we've stayed up, but I go back to the fact that we've done that, we won those 52 points, no one else.

“We did that as a club but we did want to clinch it ourselves today and didn't do that.

“There wasn't space at the back, the space was in midfield. We were man-for-man in midfield and their midfield just got in front of us more often than not and tactically there wasn't an issue.”

Asked whether the 4G played it’s part in their latest in a string of poor performances, McCarthy admitted it hadn’t helped but refused to blame the surface for the lacklusture display.

“I can only look like I'm making excuses and I don't want to make excuses,” he said.

“But we do play on grass all season and then twice on artificial and I understand what you're saying with the two results we've had.

“It's different and Sutton know how to play it and I'd argue they put on a good performance. But still I know our level of performance wasn't good enough on it. It's not the time for me to get involved on the pitch surface as it does sound like excuses.

“It's disappointing as we had people who backed us this week, paid for us to travel down and stay overnight, there was a lot of people and I will thank them personally. I thank them for that and we've worked hard and tried to come down and put in a performance.

“The couple of goals from 25 yards, they are worldies and they don't help us in our current state but it doesn't mask the level of performance.

“What I will say is there's four or five teams going into a very tricky weekend now, and we're not. This squad has made sure our fans are not in that position next weekend.

“We're very low in there, it's a weak squad we've got right now with injuries.

“We've got issues with Sam Hughes, Ryan Astles, some fans have a go at me for taking Hughes off but he'd picked up a nasty knock and he stuck it out for as long as he could for us and that shows the character of the lad and how he wears that Chester badge.

“Ryan was also struggling towards the end of the game and the size of the squad has caught up with us and is making it difficult.

“I want to finish on a high and finish with that home win that everybody wants.”

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