Ross Hannah acknowledges that Chester FC need to get a home win on the board sooner rather than later in order to alleviate some pressure.
Chester host high-flying Sutton United at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday (3pm) looking to end a winless home record that stretches back 12 games to December 17 when they earned a 2-0 success over Aldershot Town.
So far this season the Blues have played three, drawn three and picked up two points on home turf.
But for striker Hannah, who returned to the club from Barrow AFC in the summer, he knows that a home win can provide the perfect boost for both players and fans and remove a weight that he admits some players have carried from last season.
“We just need a home win, don’t we,” said the 31-year-old.
“I think everyone can see that. No matter how it comes, whether it’s a scrappy 1-0 win and the ball comes off my backside then we’ll take that.
“Me coming into the team having not been a part of last season, I don’t feel that pressure. I see the pressure of the whole place needing that win and the fans trying to push us on. The fans are brilliant but I think some are getting a bit frustrated, which is going to come. But for the lads who were here last year the home form has carried on. But I fully believe that once we do get that win then we’ll be fine.
“Saturday is a great opportunity for us to kick on. Before the season started I looked at what Sutton had done and I have got a lot of respect for the gaffer there. They did fantastic in the FA Cup last year and have assembled a good side and got good players, but let’s concentrate on us. We’re still unbeaten and we’ve only conceded two goals.
“We have been organised but I don’t think it has clicked for us yet in an attacking sense.”
Having been forced to sit out all but one pre-season game, Hannah admits he is still playing a little bit of catch up with regards to his match fitness.
He started on the bench for the opening game of the season against AFC Fylde and started the subsequent clashes with FC Halifax Town and Hartlepool United.
And while he has yet to find the back of the net, Hannah, who scored 27 goals in his first spell with the club, showed flashes that he was getting closer to his normal self, seeing a goal chalked off at Hartlepool and playing a part in the opening goal at Victoria Park on Tuesday night.
James Akintunde was on hand to fire home in the first minute at Hartlepool after Hannah saw his initial effort saved, but the experienced striker says he was more pleased to see his young strike partner netting than he would have been if it was him reeling away in celebration.
“I’m glad he got his first goal to be honest because he has been a bit hard on himself during pre-season,” said Hannah.
“I’ve been there as a player when I was younger. Now I don’t feel the pressure, I know I’ll score, but I was more pleased for Aki scoring that I would have been myself in a strange way because I know how important it is when you are younger and you haven’t been through tough times and experienced a bit of a lull. It’s great for him.
“I’m in a good place, I feel really good and I don’t feel any pressure, only the normal pressure that I put upon myself. It was frustrating to get an injury when I did but I would rather it come then than later in the season.
“I’m trying to catch up a bit now. I’ll grasp it pretty quick and it’ll not be long before I’m back up to full speed. Even when you’ve done a pre-season you still don’t feel properly match sharp. It just comes with playing the minutes.”