CRISIS? What crisis? If Chester City manager Steve Mungall is feeling under pressure he isn't showing it and he certainly isn't admitting it as the Blues bid to end a dismal run with a home victory over Southport.
Entrenched in the Conference relegation zone, City have taken only one point from the last 12 at stake, but the genial Scot shrugged off any suggestions that his days in charge at the Deva Stadium could be numbered.
'I don't feel under pressure,' he claimed. 'Individual mistakes have cost us in recent matches and the games we have lost have only been by one goal.'
Hopes of boosting a long-awaited win tomorrow by signing Kidderminster's 34-year-old central defender Mark Shail on loan collapsed when the player rejected a move.
'He wanted the chance of a permanent move, but we couldn't guarantee that,' said Mungall.
To accommodate another loan player Mungall had returned striker Gary Williams to Accrington Stanley, which could mean a place for the former Hull City striker David Brown who has been training at the Deva recently following his release from Boothferry Park.
He scored two goals in an 8-0 victory for the reserves over Ashton United on Wednesday and could be signed on non-contract forms to play alongside top scorer Mark Beesley tomorrow with Chris Malkin sidelined following a recurrence of his groin problems last Saturday.
Jimmy Haarhoff played part of the reserve match and will also be considered for the starting line-up, along with Michael O'Brien, Carl Ruffer and Dean Spink.
'It is a big game for us,' admitted Mungall. 'It is a six-pointer and it will be a blood and guts game. We will go into it positively and if we can get the first goal that will take the pressure of the defence and give everyone a boost in confidence.'
Club owner Stephen Vaughan isn't enjoying seeing Mungall struggling to kick-start his managerial career after giving him the break. 'I am sure Steve will be feeling some pressure. He started off well, but things haven't gone his way lately, although I am sure he will get it right,' he said.
A winning team would make a huge difference to Vaughan's off-the-field problems. Attendances of around 1,500 aren't good enough when faced with the debts he has taken on at the Deva and dealing with creditors has meant limited funding for the team.
'We have reduced the debts by more than £100,000,' he said, 'but we now have a £60,000 bill from the Inland Revenue.'
Vaughan has paid the money awarded by tribunals to former chief executive Bill Wingrove and ex-manager Graham Barrow and is close to an agreement with Kevin Ratcliffe.
Vaughan denies being surprised by the problems he has faced since taking over the club. 'We knew what we were getting into,' he said. 'If we can clear most of the debts by the end of the season we should be able financially to make a bid to get back into the Football League the following season.'