Marcus Bignot believes his young Chester FC players can only benefit from the experience of a derby clash against Tranmere regardless of how they perform on the day.
A five-season stay in the National League for the Blues could be over at full-time tomorrow after a dismal season.
When looking back over the campaign at the Swansway Chester Stadium and action on the pitch, the emergence of homegrown youngsters Tom Crawford and James Jones into the first-team fold has been one of the few positives.
The duo and Ryan Astles have all been offered fresh terms for next season, which could be confirmed as playing in the National League North should the Blues lose to Tranmere and other results go against them.
And ahead of tomorrow’s meeting against promotion chasing Rovers – who Chester took a point from last October in a Prenton Park goalless draw – Blues boss Bignot believes the younger players in his squad will learn from the task at hand.
He said: “To play in that environment for these young players, they can only thrive in it, and if they don’t, it’ll be a learning experience for when they get it again and they’ll only learn from it and be better from it.
“There’s going to be a group of players there, if they are still here next year, whoever’s been through this they’ll be better people for it.
“I need to go on record what they’ve had to sacrifice as players and what they’ve had to put up with, it’s an absolute credit to them and they’ll only be better people for it and better players for it if they’re still here as Chester players.”
After it was revealed at a January City Fans United (CFU) meeting that Chester FC needed £50,000 in the short term to reach the end of March, Blues fans and the football community rallied round and the £100,000 fundraising barrier was broken last month .
With a fresh target of £150,000 being set to safeguard the football club’s longer term future, the CFU board reluctantly took the decision to allocate both the South Stand and the Swettenham Chemists Community Stand to Tranmere fans.
Rovers have sold out their ticket allocation for tomorrow’s game and though Blues boss Bignot expressed mixed feelings about the decision, he accepts why it was made.
He said: “We’ve sold them far too many tickets. I understand it from the business point, but it has a knock on from the football side.
“Every decision we’ve had to make is for the benefit of the football club, so we accept that, we understand that, but we won’t make it as an excuse, we won’t play victim, and I’m looking forward to getting four points out of two fixtures against Tranmere.”