Chester will aim to make up to five new signings this week with joint-manager Anthony Johnson keen to avoid a situation where his senior players begin to ‘coast’.

The Blues have made a satisfactory start to pre-season, with back-to-back victories over Ramsbottom (1-0) and Runcorn Linnets (5-3), following a 7-0 humbling at the hands of Liverpool’s first-team.

However, Johnson was critical of his side’s performance after Saturday’s win over Runcorn, and both he and Bernard Morley will now look to tie up deals for at least three new additions in the coming days, possibly rising to five if possible.

The Blues are expected to complete the signing of a former Football League midfielder in the next 24 hours, while a former League Two striker currently on trial with the club impressed with two goals in the win at Runcorn.

“A lot of the time me and Bernard are talking during games and we’ve seen enough after three games to know that by Friday night (next friendly away at Llandudno), we’ll want three, four or maybe five done,” Johnson said.

“We’ll be working hard now to get them in because although I’ve said be patient, if those targets are now available we’ve got to go and get them.

“What we don’t want is lads thinking because we’ve only got 11 senior players to start coasting. Every time we’ve put the younger lads on in the second-half of the games, there’s no difference.

“We don’t want lads coasting so we need these deals done as soon as possible, hopefully they start to come available after these friendlies as well.”

Johnson confirmed midfielder Gary Roberts missed Saturday’s match with a groin strain and admits the current state of non-league pitches is making life difficult for the players.

“It’s not for me to be overly critical of the opposition grounds because it is what it is,” he continued.

“They can’t get any irrigation on it because of the weather, but we are picking up niggles because of the grounds we are playing on. They aren’t conducive to what we want to do, you can see even with their passes they are having to work that little bit harder.

“Gary’s just got a strain in his groin from Rammy. Worked it before (Runcorn) but didn’t want to put him in there after that work and we will try to get him 90 minutes.

“We’re in a good position now where we’ve got a full week to do some training, you very rarely get that in pre-season. We’ll be in Tuesday and Thursday for training then playing Friday and Saturday so we’ll be in each other’s pockets this week, but we want to start identifying how we’re going to play with and without the ball.”

The Blues have so far been awarded three penalties in pre-season, with left-back John Pritchard dispatching two and missing another at Ramsbottom.

Asked if Pritchard will remain on penalties, Johnson replied: “You’d think so with him taking three of them so far.

“It was a case of him taking one (at Runcorn) because he’d missed the last one, I like to give the lad another opportunity if he scored the one before he missed previously.

“He’s rolled it in the bottom corner but his one (at Ramsbottom) was bizarre. Set-piece wise he’s been really good, and I am happy with that so at this moment in time, yes he’s our penalty taker.”