JON McCARTHY admits it would have been an ‘impossible task’ to keep Chester up next season if his playing budget had remained the same.

In a frank assessment of where his struggling side were at the end of last season, having finished 19th in the National League, McCarthy accepts the resources made available to him had to ‘significantly improve’.

And the Blues boss has been well backed by chief executive Mark Maguire in being allowed to bring in several quality players into the first-team, including Paul Turnbull, Kingsley James and Ross Hannah.

“We’ve managed to survive at this level but now we look to progress to that next level,” McCarthy said. “The operational board and the CFU Board are working as well as I’ve ever seen, and we’ve got a chief executive who has worked incredibly hard over the past year to turn things around.

“That is starting to be justified now with some of the deals we’re bringing in and the money we’ve been able to bring in for Sam Hughes.

“There’s an infrastructure here now and an increased budget. If that budget had stayed the same as last year, it’d have been an almost impossible task for us to stay up.”