Marcus Bignot believes he is building a 'better' Chester side on 'next to nothing' than the one he inherited.

The Blues were beaten 1-0 at home by Leyton Orient on Tuesday night but it was another spirited display from the relegation-threatened strugglers, who had seen off Eastleigh 3-1 last weekend, with the manager admitting this current side is finally starting to perform in the way a 'Marcus Bignot team' should, despite having no money to spend and seeing the likes of Dom Vose turning out on expenses-only deals.

“We’ve got two vital games to come against Dagenham and Bromley,” he said. “This was an opportunity missed to get back-to-back (wins) and we need to get those back-to-backs quickly before we’re cut adrift.

“I believe this team is better than the team I inherited. We’ve seen improvements in all the elements even though things have been going against us. For me that is a massive positive.

“No disrespect to the players here at the start, but I feel this team is a better team than we started off with against Maidenhead. Who would have imagined that in terms of what we’ve had to deal with?

“That’s a massive positive and we’ve tried to put the belief in them and I’m hopeful it’s there for all to see. We will certainly go to Dagenham full of confidence and it’s still only six points. But we need two back-to-backs quickly.

“If you look at the players we’ve brought in and want to keep until the end of the season, you’ve seen the type of players and it’s a Marcus Bignot team and who we want to bring in.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but you can do it on next to nothing. Our recruitment – on nothing – has been better than what we inherited.”

The Blues enjoyed some good spells of pressure against Justin Edinburgh’s Orient but were ultimately beaten by a more experienced side who came to shut down any potential chances for strike duo Ross Hannah and Jordan Archer, who had been so effective against Eastleigh, where Hannah netted twice.

“Our centre forwards would’ve been frustrated that they weren’t quite as effective as they were on Saturday,” said Bignot, who expects to be without left-back Jordan Gough for a longer spell.

“If you look at what separates the two teams, it was those attacking and wide players. In terms of all their ability and threat, we contained them. They have athleticism and pace on the break, that’s their quality but we contained it in large parts and we’re pleased with that.

“We just couldn’t get our attacking players into that final third often enough. Orient are an example of the physical side of this league and what we need to match.

“How were they going to score a goal? Everyone watching was disappointed to concede that type of goal as we’re better than that, but they put the ball in the box and had an opportunity to take a chance. We just didn’t get the ball into the box enough.”

Bignot hailed the efforts of Andy Halls to waiving a clause in his contract which would have triggered a one-year contract extension if making one more start, while teenage centre-back Shaun Hobson was also singled out.

“The improvement is a collection of things but it had been coming,” he added. “We’ve come off here and there weren’t too many poor performances. We just fell on the wrong side of the fine lines and margins but hopefully we can put that right on Saturday.

“I’m managing consequences and they’ve been a credit. Andy Halls has been a credit to himself and fair play to him.

“Age is the more games you have. Look at Shaun Hobson, he’s 19 but looks like he’s been playing for years and he’s the type of player I like – ticks all the boxes technically, tactically, physically, mentally, he’s a good person, everything we want. When he’s 22, 23, he has the opportunity to be a Football League player.”