Chester are not in a position to activate clauses in players’ contracts which would trigger new deals, Marcus Bignot has confirmed.

Two first-team players on one-year deals – understood to be Andy Halls and John McCombe – will trigger new one year deals if they make 30 appearances for the Blues this season.

Bignot revealed Chester cannot afford to give new deals to either player, but stressed both players remain ‘willing to keep the club up’ and will continue to give him 100 per cent effort when called upon.

“There’s obviously those situations but – from the players’ point of view – may I just go on record to say they are more than willing in terms of playing for this football club,” he explained.

“From a business point, which I’m not going to get involved in, but from a business point of the football club it can't enter into that activation.

“It's a case of me man-managing the players and being honest and I have. The conversations I've had with them have been really positive, and they’re willing to help this football club in any way, shape, or form to stay up.

“For me, the way they have been in and around the place, it’s not just cheap words they’re saying, they’re actually backing it up as well.”

Bignot was pleased with a much-improved performance from his side in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United, where Harry White salvaged a point with a 77th minute equaliser, his fourth goal in as many league matches.

“We’re coming off pleased with the performance but it possibly could’ve been three points, not just one,” he said.

“That last set-piece just didn’t quite bounce our way, it landed to Harry White but the surface didn’t sit right for him.

“Their keeper has pulled off some really good saves. We had some momentum in the first-half and we could have come out of that with a goal and certainly the way we finished the first-half.

“What great character we showed from going a goal down. We spoke about how we respond to going a goal down, learning lessons from Saturday, so there’s a lot of positive performances. But the character we showed is testament to the players.

“Prior to them scoring we had two really good opportunites to get out and counter of them and missed those opportunites on both occasions, and it became like a pinball machine in there from a corner.

“Goughy injured, Turnbull injured, Shep is suspended. It’s four games in a row now (we’ve had suspensions),” he added.

“Nathan Brown was on the bench, he's been great in training but we’ve not got him the minutes away from the football club.

“Tom Crawford has been different, he’s gone to Runcorn and Leek and there was a reason behind that. You’ve seen the benefits of that with his performance here.”