Chester FC boss Jon McCarthy insists that he has the best squad the reformed Blues have ever had and that his side are a better outfit than this time 12 months ago.
The Blues have started their National League campaign with three draws from three games, the latest point gleaned on Tuesday night with a 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United.
While the points tally is the same as this time last year, Chester lost two of their opening three games at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, conceding six goals in the process.
The Blues have shipped two so far, and while the opening game with AFC Fylde saw some impressive spells for Chester they have yet to be a dominant force against opposition this season.
And McCarthy believes that his side last year would have buckled under the pressure exerted at Hartlepool on Tuesday, where the hosts hit the woodwork three times, and states that more quality and a better mentality will result in more success.
“Yeah, we would have [buckled],” said McCarthy. “I have a better group of players than this new football club has ever had, a better squad than they have ever had. I have a better environment, I have a better mentality and I have the hardest working group I have ever had at the club. It just all adds up to more success.
“It was massive away at Hartlepool. I’m hoping people can realise tactically how good we are and how much we work at it. We have to look at a game plan to be able to stop other teams initially and then try and add to it.
“You think about the run we had last year, we’ve started to do that quicker. That’s three games where we haven’t been beaten and we’ve only conceded two goals. I put in an extra week of training and revolutionised pre-season training to make sure we were further ahead.”
While undefeated in the league after three games the fact remains that the club have not won at home this calendar year – the last success coming against Aldershot Town on December 17.
High-flying Sutton United are the visitors to the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday (3pm), arriving second in the table with nine points from four games.
But McCarthy says he is ‘relaxed’ with how things are going at the moment, believing the hard work will pay off.
“We were robbed of our first game of the season against Solihull which was not ideal,” said McCarthy.
“That took us in against two games against the new boys and all they have coming, and then away at a Hartlepool and then we have a really tough game against Sutton.
“We have put our work in to be in this better position. We are getting on with the hand we have been dealt and three points is the next of it. There is a dressing room there [after Hartlepool] that is disappointed, like they were against Halifax. But there is a content, relaxed and happy manager.
“We’re going to add some of the rest of stuff but it is going to plan.”
The postponed trip to Solihull has been rearranged by the Vanarama National League for Tuesday, September 5.