Chris Herbert admits the Chester manager’s job would prove ‘very difficult to turn down’ if his hometown club came calling for himself and Mark McGregor.

Herbert, 40, is currently boss at Runcorn Town and assisted by vastly-experienced former Football League defender McGregor, 41, who played for the likes of Wrexham, Burnley, Blackpool and Port Vale during his playing career.

The duo both hail from Chester and have declared their interest in the vacancy following last week’s sacking of Marcus Bignot, with the club’s board setting a closing date for applications at 5pm this Thursday, with interviews taking place at the start of next week.

The likes of former Blues Paul Carden, Andy Holden, Shaun Reid and former boss Graham Barrow have all been linked with the role, as well as ex-Hartlepool manager Craig Harrison and Witton Albion head coach Carl Macauley.

“Chester needs a new direction and I feel myself and Mark are now in a position in our coaching careers where we could help deliver that,” former Flint Town United boss Herbert said, whose contract with Runcorn expires at the end of the current campaign and previously worked for Chester briefly as first-team scout under Steve Burr.

“We’re both from Chester and we both stood on the terraces as young lads. We have the club at heart, so in that regard the job would be very difficult to turn down if Chester were willing to speak to us.

“It needs someone with a connection to the city, someone who can interact with the supporters as well as their role as manager.

“Chester have given opportunities lately to managers with little connection to the club and the city previously. We wouldn’t be doing it for the money, it would feel like going back to our hometown club.

“I feel we’d bring passion to the role and a knowledge of the football club and the surrounding leagues. Chester needs to get back to basics, and scouting-wise, well I think I was the last one the club had! We know players in the lower leagues and we’ve worked hard on a low budget at Runcorn.”

Runcorn are currently third in North West Counties League and although the step up to National League North would be a significant leap for Herbert, he believes he would prove up to the task.

Asked if he would be able to work on Chester’s vastly reduced budget for next season, Herbert replied: “We’d be the cheapest option, that I can say. Myself and Mark both have a proven track record of working on a very low budget.

“To work on a low budget, Chester need hungry, young players. These lads are out there, there’s plenty of young lads around the north-west who should be at Chester, but the scouting network hasn’t been in place. I’m confident I could get these players to Chester, it still has a massive pull as a club.

“There’s too many players at Chester currently who are too content to come in, train, pick up their money and go home. That’s not what I look for.

“Mark is the best coach I’ve worked with, he’s top drawer. We’ve done our time in the lower leagues and we now feel we’re prepared for the step up to work for a club the size of Chester in that level of the pyramid.”