CHESTER owner Stephen Vaughan has demanded a positive response from the Blues following the costly exit from the FA Cup last weekend.
After being verbally abused by fans of his former club, Barrow, and then having to suffer the embarrassment of a surprise defeat by the UniBond League club, he is backing manager Steve Mungall's bid to strengthen the squad.
Failure to get into the first round of the competition for the first time as a professional club cost Chester at least £30,000 in prize money and gate receipts. 'It is a short-term burden, but it was annoying to be beaten by a club whose wage bill is about 25% of ours,' he said.
'It was a bad second half for us. That is in the past now, but I will be demanding we start to climb the Conference table. We need better players and Steve Mungall is looking into it.'
Top of Mungall's wanted list is Telford's Neil Moore, 29, who has had spells with Everton, Norwich, Burnley and Macclesfield.
Cash-strapped Telford have made all their players available for transfer this week and want a fee for the Liverpool-born defender. Chester are awaiting a valuation from the Telford board and hope to get it before tomorrow's visit to Yeovil.
'We are a young team and we are like a ship without a rudder at the moment,' said Mungall. 'I need one or two experienced players to bring the best out of the younger players.'
Mungall was disappointed with his team's FA Cup exit at Barrow, but has written it off as one of those days.
'We got it out of our system in training this week. I looked at it as a one-off performance, but now we must reproduce the form we showed in the previous three Conference matches,' he said.
He will have Michael O'Brien and Chris O'Brien back at Yeovil after missing the Barrow game, and Mark Beesley could also return if his groin injury, which he felt after being sent on as a substitute at Holker Street, has cleared up.
Andy Porter (toe) also faces a fitness test, but definitely out are suspended Dean Spink, who has a three-match ban, and Martyn Lancaster (one match).
Chris Malkin, injured for most of the season, is included in the squad after making his comeback in a 4-2 friendly match defeat at Bangor on Wednesday, when the City scorers were Paul Berry and Ben Chamberlain (penalty).
'Chris is a bit stiff, but otherwise he came through well,' said Mungall. 'A lot of good things came out of the game and the result wasn't that important.'
Mungall sent Spink to Bristol Rovers on Wednesday to see Yeovil - who were beaten 3-1 at Hayes in the Cup on Saturday lose their LDV Vans Trophy tie on penalties. 'Yeovil won't take us lightly,' said the City boss.
'They are having a rocky patch and are not having the success yet that they had last
season, but it will be a test of character for our boys to see if they can bounce back from the defeat at Barrow.'
* Stephen Vaughan has earned a reprieve from the threat of a winding-up order against the club from former chief executive Bill Wingrove, who won a case of unfair dismissal against the old regime.
Wingrove has yet to receive the settlement awarded by an industrial tribunal and was taking steps to seek a winding-up order this week, but he has now agreed to meet Vaughan in the next few days.
Vaughan will meet the fans at a forum at the Deva Stadium on Wednesday (7.30 pm).
* Chester are back at the Deva Stadium on Tuesday when they meet Stalybridge Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup (7.45). Admission will be £8 for adults and £4 for senior citizens and children.
* City have received a cheque for £250 from Conference sponsors Nationwide for the Performance of the Month at Morecambe, where they won 3-0.
They will probably receive the trophy at the next Conference home match against Forest Green tomorrow week.
* Faced with a blank day on November 17, the date of the first round of the FA Cup, Chester are attempting to bring forward their Conference match at home to Leigh RMI, scheduled for March 2. Scarborough refused to switch from February 2.