ANTHONY JOHNSON insists his joint-manager role with Bernard Morley works because of “implicit trust” and “concrete belief”.

The duo have been working together for 11 years next month, securing five promotions during that time and achieving a win rate of close to 58 per cent from over 500 games in charge.

Johnson and Morley first joined forces in the dugout at Ramsbottom, who they led to two promotions, before achieving a hat-trick with Salford City under the Class of ‘92.

It’s been a successful time for Johnson and Morley, now looking to achieve promotion number six with Chester, the former explaining exactly why it works.

The likes of Liverpool have tried the joint-manager experiment with Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier managing to last just four months together.

Asked why he and best mate Morley work so efficiently, Johnson declared: “Implicit trust.

“Bernard could come in and say: ‘This is the team I think we should play’ and we would play it. Why would I question him? We have concrete belief in each other.

“We’ve known each other since we were 12 or 13 years of age. Bernard will be 36 soon and I’m 37, so we’ve known each other a long time and there’s plenty more to come.

“The ironic part is that we played under joint managers and it was a car crash because they weren’t working together, but we have one idea.

“This is probably the least we’ve spoken to each other with isolation happening. We usually speak two, three, four or five times a day about football and family.

“We are joint managers and we have the same idea.

“We’ve never been people to let our heads drop, we march forward with our best foot forward.”

The duo have been starved of football with the National League North suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s not to say that they’ve been unable to fill their time.

Morley has continued to work, while Johnson has been combining home schooling, garden renovations and planning for the time football is finally allowed to return safely.

“Bernard is out working because he’s a key worker. He has got a young family, but he’s out working on things that need to be done,” said Johnson, who, alongside Morley, signed a new two-year deal with the Blues in January.

“But we are trying to plan as much as possible for the return of football - whenever that may be.

“I’m quite a morbid person, so I’m looking at things like the goals we’ve conceded - I’m surprised at how many there have been.

“I’m reviewing what we’ve done and what we would do differently when we start, whether that’s in a week or three months.”