Johnny Hunt offered up an honest appraisal of Chester FC ’s current form after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Eastleigh on Saturday.

Chester were sucker-punched in the 90th minute when Scott Wilson bundled home a corner to seal the points for the Spitfires in what was, in truth, a poor game of football.

The defeat sees Chester drop to 15th in the Vanarama National League and means they lost six out of their last seven games, leaving them looking nervously over their shoulders for the run-in, eight points above the drop zone.

And Hunt was honest when reflected on Saturday’s defeat and says now is the time for the Blues squad to man up and show they have the stomach for a fight to avoid a once promising season turning into a nightmare.

“They were there for the taking, we were at home and it was up to us to take the game to them,” said Hunt.

“You can’t do that in this league, though. You have to drag the best out of you every game, not just when it’s a derby. I know I might go on about it and it might sound boring and the players might be sick of hearing me talk about it but I don’t care, I don’t want to be getting dragged into something that we shouldn’t be. We’re going to end up making hard work of a season that should have been good. It’s time to be honest and be brutal.”

Chester were seventh in the build up to the Christmas period after a 2-0 win over Aldershot Town on December 17.

Since then, though, the Blues, who host Macclesfield Town tomorrow night (7.45pm) have gone on a wretched run of form and have tumbled way off the play-off chasing pack. And while they may have been overachieving to reach such heady heights in the first place, left back Hunt, 26, isn’t making excuses.

Johnny Hunt watches on during Saturday's defeat

He said: “We had been good up until Christmas but terrible since the turn of the year. You expect a bad run of form but we are letting this go too far now. In my eyes (Eastleigh) were there for the taking. They weren’t causing us any problems and it’s time we start standing up to be counted and start being men. We have to dig each other out and we have got to change our mentality.

“We have got to learn from it massively. There is still something to play for and the chance to finish on the highest points tally this club has ever had in this league, but we need to get out of this rut. Tuesday we need to be at it and on the front foot and just take it to Macclesfield.

“It’s hard after a game as I hate losing and I hate the way we lost that game, they did a job on us and we have to accept that. It is kept in the changing room how we deal with things but it is frustrating we can’t quite reach that next level. It’s just little things but if we don’t put them right soon then it’s going to turn into one of those seasons that doesn’t look good. It will be an unfair reflection of what the lads have done.

“We have got a young, small squad and the games come thick and fast. We can’t keep making the same mistakes.”