CHESTER winger Craig Mahon has urged his teammates to keep calm and start winning again ahead of Saturday's home clash with Darlington.

The Blues have hit an alarming slump since their 11 game unbeaten run ended with defeat to Altrincham on November 10 with just one point from a possible nine and four consecutive games with a goal.

Tuesday's disappointing FA Trophy exit to Southport only added to the sense of worry surrounding the Swansway Stadium but Mahon believes the Blues' sequence of bad results is not terminal.

"No one likes to lose because the gaffers have built this winning mentality into us so when we do lose it hurts that little bit more," said Mahon. "Hopefully Tuesday's defeat gives us an incentive to take into Saturday and we can take some positives from it."

Long serving Mahon was one of Chester's standout players during their recent spell of results but he was dropped for the FA Trophy replay against Southport.

"Obviously I want to play every game regardless of what round it is or what competition so it was disappointing but it has given me that hunger to work hard, get back in the team and show what I can do," he said.

"We went on an 11 game unbeaten run and you don't do that by fluke. We earned it and worked hard so we've proved that we've got the lads good enough to do it.

"I think if we get our mentality right, work hard and be positive we can get that form back again."

While putting the ball in the back of the net is currently proving a major issue for Mahon and the other forwards, the Irishman believes there is no sign of a crisis just yet.

"We're sitting sixth in the league so I don't think we need to hit the panic button too early," said Mahon. "Hopefully we can get a bit of a run going with a result on Saturday, get a few goals and get a bit of confidence so we can start looking forward to games and looking up rather than down."

Mahon, 29, admitted that the Blues' recent workload has taken its toll on a few members of the side with Chester looking increasingly tired against Southport on Tuesday.

"It's been tough but that's football," he added. "You know you're going to play twice a week for a long time and it's one of those things that can hinder you or it can help you and for the first few weeks of the run it helped us because we had that momentum. Now since we've lost a few it will be nice to get back to games on a Saturday and get a few more training sessions under our belt. Football is fickle: one minute you're the worst player and the worst team in the world and the next minute you get a win and you think you're the best

"We've got to get that mentality right and hopefully that will start on Saturday."