Jon McCarthy hailed his Chester side for coming through a ‘difficult situation’ to snatch a last-gasp point at struggling Torquay United.

The under-fire Chester manager – who had faced a week of mounting pressure after a horrendous run of home form – was minutes away from a demoralising defeat at rock-bottom Torquay, who had lost their past six matches and led through George Dowling’s first-half strike.

Just as Dowling’s strike looked to have handed the Gulls a first win of the campaign, Ross Hannah came off the bench to grab a vital stoppage time equaliser for the Blues.

“It’s been a difficult situation created around the football club this week which has put pressure on and made it harder for our players to play,” a defiant McCarthy said.

“I needed the stronger ones. You know I don’t want to play Tom Shaw and he’s not really at the level of fitness but I think it was significant when I was losing Paul Turnbull that I look at the bench and that’s what I needed out there.

“They’re in there frustrated and it’s me having to explain to them, listen it will all come together.

“They’ve done an unbelievable amount of work and there’s a really strong mentality and closeness in the group and I thank the supporters again who have come down who applauded us and are generally delighted we battled again and got them a point.

“I thank everybody for all the support I’ve received this week, it’s been unbelievable, the amount of messages, tweets and emails from people whoa re recognising exactly what we are doing and really understand the position this football club is in; a team with one of lowest budgets in the league and people recognise when this group gets fit, that’s when you start to enjoy the team. 

“When I have everybody fit, we win games. If you look back to last season it’s the same situation.

“What I do is manage in difficult circumstances and when I have everybody fit, 17 games unbeaten, it’s a new club record, eight clean sheets, that stuff, it shouldn’t disappear out of history.

“ I just want to people to recognise what the situation at the club is. 

“We don’t have a training ground, we don’t have adequate medical back-up to support the unbelievable work that our people do.

“Our small squad means injuries are more difficult for us but recognise what were donig in the right context and I promise you when I get all these players fit, with some game time under their belts, you’ll see the best Chester team have had.”