Marcus Bignot has called on Chester's supporters to play a 'massive part' in kick-starting their survival bid against Dover Athletic.

The Blues have 11 games left to save their National League status, currently six points adrift of safety heading into tonight's encounter with the Whites (7.45pm) with the club anticipating no further problems with the playing surface after Saturday's clash with Bromley was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

"Whichever way the games fall now, it's the business end and they are all important to us," Bignot said.

"Dover is next and we must take the massive positive from Dagenham and build on them. Make no mistake that Dagenham were still a play-off team, certainly the subs they brought on.

"So to get ourselves in the lead, comfortably look like holding onto that, I'm looking forward to the next time we're leading with five games to go because hopefully that group has learned from that and that's what this past week has been about.

"Our home games are massive but they will only be so if our supporters play their part. People will say Bromley now coming in a midweek will help us, there will be more advantages to us rather than on the Saturday.

"In all honesty I thought I was going to have flashbacks at Dagenham when we walked off the pitch and I saw the supporters congregating by the tunnel area, I thought 'here we go again'.

"But they were superb, they clapped us off, fair play to them because we were winning 2-1 with five minutes to go, we ended up losing but got applauded off the pitch. Absolute credit to them and the crowd has definitely changed.

"We were hard done by with the decision for the second goal (at Dagenham), it's offside. All the very best to those officials if they'd made that decision in front of the Harry McNally, that's all I'm saying.

"I welcome VAR but our VAR is our supporters and that's how important they can be and influencing decisions at home for their team."

Bignot feels the atmosphere at home matches - previously toxic earlier this campaign - has 'changed' and feels a 'realism' over the club's off-field perils has resulted in a bond being created between the fans and players.

"The environment at home has definitely changed," he continued.

"That hangover, resentment for whatever reason is clearly not there now. The atmosphere has been lifted and that has transcended onto the pitch and you've seen how the players have reacted to that.

"The positive nature of that has been brilliant. The truth has come out and they know what we're dealing with.

"We're a fan-owned club and it should never be labelled at this club in terms of not knowing what is going on, because it's the fans' club. I'm all for honesty and transparency because I tell you what, there's a lot of people out there who tell a lot of porkies in terms of their playing budgets, play them down. I'm all for sharing a playing budget because that creates a realism.

"We went to Guiseley, talking financials on the way up with Lawrence (Kirby, financial director), and to know what Guiseley have been doing in the market with an experienced manager who had been given time.

"We were fighting against the odds and I was that deflated at the end of the game because I knew where our football club was compared to theirs."

Chester's fundraising efforts off the field have now reached in excess of £90,000, staving off the immediate threat of insolvency, but Bignot now believes the club must decide which direction it wishes to move forward in.

"It's been an unbelievable effort from the supporters and the football club in terms of raising the money," he added.

"We talk about the academy and how important it is but if you don't get it right at first-team level then you can have the best academy going and it doesn't matter.

"There has to be a strategy, a vision in place where the academy can prosper and grow but there needs to be a pathway into the first-team because you are not going to get a Sam Hughes every year, not going to get Tom Crawford, James Jones, Matty Waters every year. So what happens in those other years?

"It's important as a football club, yes there will be one, but where are we going with it? The key thing is we have the best academy we can have but if there's not that progression to a flagship first-team then they will go elsewhere, it's simple logic really."