Chester head coach Jon Aby insists his side’s performance is more important than the result this weekend.
While pleased with his team’s fourth win in five outings at Tynedale last Saturday, the man in charge was less than impressed with the overall display.
Chester had to cling on with 14 men towards the end of their 29-25 success in Northumberland after winger John Ketland had been sin-binned.
The spirit and determination to get the job done was impressive but Aby – who took over at the helm in May – is demanding more from his players when they host Otley on Saturday (3pm).
Aby said: “It was a typical Chester performance.
“We were excellent for 20 minutes, poor for 20 minutes, average for 20 minutes, poor for 20 minutes. In truth we scraped home.
“It sums up our season so far. In football terminology, we are the type of side which has to win games 6-5 or 5-4. But we are never comfortable, and that’s not what I want.
“Our performances need to get better, otherwise we are not meeting the objectives I’ve set for us.
“In the end, results will come down to performances.
“Although it is good to be able to still win matches in which you haven’t played consistently well, it’s not good to win a game and then feel hollow about it afterwards, but that’s how it was.
“It’s early days for us and we are working on it. The group is beginning to understand what I want from them.
“This weekend, performance comes first. The result is second.”
Skipper should be fit for this weekend
Shaun Strudwick and Kyle Joseph were among the scorers as Chester built a commanding 20-8 lead with some superb early play.
But Tynedale fought back and, although Chester were never behind, there were stages in which they were made to sweat.
Not least when Ketland was sent to the sin-bin for the final stages and the pressure was on.
But it was the visitors who got the last of their four tries to make sure at the death.
Fourth in National Two North, Chester now turn their attention to Otley, who lie 11th with three defeats in their last four.
Aby is confident that captain Guy Ford will shrug off a nagging back problem to lead the team out, and he reports an otherwise fully-fit squad.
Chester 2nds were narrowly defeated 31-27 at Sedgley Park 2nds and are now 12th in the table.
They host Fylde 2nds on Saturday.
Swans still unbeaten
Christleton extended their perfect start to the season with a 23-17 success at the expense of hosts Stockport 3rds.
The side have now won four on the spin in Raging Bull Division Two South, and sit top of the table.
Christleton are at home to mid-table New Brighton 2nds on Saturday.
Helsby suffered their first defeat of the season – 31-24 at Oswestry 3rds – and dropped to fourth in Raging Bull Division Five South.
They entertain Altrincham Kersal on Saturday.