CHESTER boss Anthony Johnson says the prospect of going top of the National League North standings is an added motivation this weekend.

Beaten at league rivals Altrincham in the FA Cup in midweek, the Blues will look to bounce back in Saturday’s home clash with Leamington.

Their FA Cup elimination means that Chester will now have an enforced fortnight-long fixture-break in October.

And joint-manager Johnson hopes his second-placed side can leapfrog pacesetters York City to snatch top spot.

Speaking to reporters after the Alty defeat, Johnson said: “By the time we play Kings Lynn we’ll have had an enforced two-week break unless there’s a game slotted in there.

“But it would be nice to go into that two-week break being top of the league so it’s all eyes on another cup final against Leamington now.”

After losing to a technically impressive Altrincham side, Johnson expects a wholly different test for his side against Leamington tomorrow.

The Brakes were unbeaten in their opening three games, but their recent league form has tailed off badly after 5-0 and 3-0 losses to Alty and Farsley Celtic respectively.

“I think they’ll be the total opposite to Alty because they’re quite a direct team”, added Johnson.

“In the games we played against them last season they were as hard-working a team as we came across.

“ I fully expect that type of game again even though they’re coming off the back of a couple of dodgy results in the league.

"But they started really well and they’ve got one of the top scorers in the league in Josh March and he’s flying.

“They pose a different type of problem, but we’ve said to the lads in there we could potentially go top of the league on Saturday and to focus on that.”

Johnson also believes that Chester’s early-season injury list is already worse than the one that derailed the club’s league form last term.

Centre-back Danny Livesey became the latest Blues player to be sidelined when he sustained a hamstring injury in midweek.

Livesey, along with full-back Kevin Roberts will both miss out tomorrow, with Gary Stopforth’s knee injury set to keep him out until mid-October.

Johnson added: “Danny’s the latest to pick up an injury and we don’t know yet how long he’ll be out for.

“It’s the way it’s been going for us in the early part of the season, where we’ve had the likes of Akwasi Asante and Matty Hughes missing for a few games early on.

“Kev Roberts, Gary Roberts and Gary Stopforth, who are all key players for us have missed big games too.

"There’s probably been seven or eight players we’ve not had available due to injury already.

"Compared to last season we didn’t experience those kind of numbers until around Christmas time and it impacted on results badly.

"But with the physios and medical side of things improving at the club since then we also get them back to fitness quicker now too.”

Full-back Jamie Morgan serves the final match of his three-game suspension and also misses out.