Marcus Bignot insists that his Chester FC side can stave off relegation from the National League despite a damaging 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Gateshead.
A calamitous 60 seconds before the break saw Chester concede twice to go in at half time 2-0 down, while a goal seven minutes after the restart from Jordan Preston sealed the win for the Heed and pile the pressure on Blues boss Bignot.
Harry White pulled one back with just over 20 minutes remaining but it was too little, too late for Bignot’s side who, not for the first time this season, had angered the home faithful with a limp and shapeless performance.
When asked if his side could still stay up, Bignot said: “I do, I do massively. On the limited resources we have got I still believe we can achieve (survival).
“Are we fighting against all the odds? Of course we are. Is it a level and fair playing field? Of course it’s not. But it is what it is and these are the group of players I have got.
“Every game is big. We have got cup finals. Our away from has been more than good enough but we have got to some way turn that away form into home form.
“We will go again Tuesday (at home to Hartlepool) because this is the group we have got and we will go again Tuesday. We are still on track to get the points return we need from January to give ourselves a chance. I will continue to work in a positive manner with these players.
“I’ve got to lift these boys. It will be a case of taking some of them out because I have got to protect them.”
The defeat sees Chester slip to 22nd and remain five points adrift of safety heading into a crucial home clash with freefalling Hartlepool United on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
Speaking on the spell before and after the break that allowed Paddy McLaughlin, Jordan Burrow and Preston to net, Bignot said: “We didn’t give ourselves a chance. Three goals in the space of seven minutes, we haven’t given ourselves a chance. That is what I need to focus on on the training pitch that if we do go a goal down that we stay together for the next 20 minutes.”