Marcus Bignot: Chester boss asks where relegation-threatened club are going

Marcus Bignot
Ex-Solihull boss Marcus Bignot joined Chester in September 2017, five months after being sacked by Grimsby

Chester manager Marcus Bignot says the struggling National League club must decide which direction they are heading in as they edge nearer to relegation to the sixth tier of English football.

The fan-owned club have successfully raised £100,000 to ensure they could keep going for the rest of the season.

But Friday's 11th home defeat of the season against Torquay has left them just two defeats away from the drop.

"The club now has to talk with regards of where it is going," said Bignot.

"It is not a time for me to talk on behalf of the football club in terms of how it is going forward.

"We've identified the problems. There are more problems to come and we've identified the solutions.

"But if we don't feel there are problems and that everything's going to be ok because we've raised the money, then going down isn't going to fix everything. It will only add to what we see coming.

"It's for others to now come out and speak on behalf of the football club and where it's going."

'It has to hurt to lose'

After Chester City were liquidated in 2010, the reformed phoenix club made a great start to life in the lower leagues, winning three successive promotions to win back their place in the National League.

They struggled in their first season and would have been relegated, but for Hereford United's demise because of financial problems.

Following that reprieve, they then finished 12th - offering hope that they might one day win back the Football League place they held for 70 years from 1930 to 2000.

But, after finishing 17th and 19th in successive seasons, Bignot's side are 23rd and 10 points adrift of safety with just six games left to play.

Bumpers Lane has been Chester's home since 1992
Bumpers Lane has been Chester's home since 1992

If they lose at leaders Macclesfield on Monday and other results do not go their way, Chester could be relegated by 7 April - at home by local rivals Tranmere Rovers.

Following the 2-0 defeat by nearest relegation rivals Torquay, former Solihull and Grimsby boss told BBC Radio Merseyside: "Conceding so early got to the players a bit, but it's not good enough.

"We've got to be better. As a manager, it is frustrating when you have so many controllables that you can't control.

"I'm not one for making excuses but they let themselves down, they let each other down and they let us all down. They have got to show how much it hurts to lose football matches."

1,500 up for BBC man Turner

BBC Radio Merseyside's Neil Turner
BBC Radio Merseyside's Neil Turner has reported on five promotion-winning Chester teams at four different levels

Chester's next game is on Monday at Macclesfield, where the old club once spent two years in exile after their former Sealand Road home was sold for redevelopment and they waited for work to start on their replacement 6,000 capacity home on nearby Bumpers Lane.

For BBC Radio Merseyside's Neil Turner, who has been covering their fortunes for more than 30 years, it will mark the milestone of his 1,500th game.

He has covered everything for the station - from Liverpool in the Charity Shield, to Everton v Sheffield Wednesday on the first day of the Premier League in 1992, and Tranmere's 1-0 win over Exeter City to stay in the Football League in 1987. He has even read the classified results a few times on Final Score.

But, as more than 1,000 of those games have involved watching Chester, it seems appropriate that his landmark match will be at Chester's former home ground at Moss Rose.

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