JIM Harvey believes his Chester City players will get a huge psychological lift if they take seven points from their next three matches – as it will haul the Blues up to the magical zero-point mark.
A trio of away days await City in the next eight days and if they return from the trips to Grays Athletic, York City and Tamworth with two victories and a draw, they will have wiped out the debilitating 25-point penalty incurred for the club’s off-the-field problems.
While Chester’s future remains far from clear, impressive boss Harvey is going about his business as usual and he reckons the Blues will have the chance of survival if they are within 12 points of safety come the New Year.
“It will be undoubtedly be a lift once we get to zero as you’re then in the same street as the other teams,” said Harvey, whose rock-bottom side make their way to fourth-from-bottom Grays Athletic on Saturday (3pm) and play-off chasing York City on Tuesday (7.45pm). “Just to see that 25 points wiped off will be a boost.
“We were seven wins behind but Saturday’s win over Wimbledon probably means we’re down to about 6.1 wins! But in all seriousness, if we can get that down by the end of Christmas and be about 12 points behind, then that would not be something we couldn’t achieve.
“That’s the focus and we’ve just got to keep showing the same focus and belief we showed on Saturday.”
The 3-1 victory over an AFC Wimbledon team boasting a seven-match unbeaten away record was the first time City had recorded back-to-back league wins in 99 games.
Harvey said: “The lads have set the standard and now they have to try and maintain that level of performance.
“Grays is a six-pointer and it would be nice to think we will be going down there with a little bit more confidence following the Wimbledon win and go there expecting to get a result.”
The Blues have not lost on the road in eight but with seven of those matches ending in draws, Harvey said: “Although the results have been good away from home, we haven’t scored many goals. If we can keep that dogged resilience and keep getting draws that would be great, but it would be even better if we can get a few away wins because then we really would be back in business as I’m sure the home form will improve because of our style of play.”
Michael Lea and Anthony Barry have not trained this week and so are major doubts for the Grays clash.
City have until a week on Monday to settle their football-related debts or face being kicked out of the Conference, but Harvey prefers to stay focused on on-the-field matters. He said: “We’ve got to forgot about that and just to concentrate on what we can influence – and that’s players and results.”