The Friday Feature: The Chester Boss Bignot Opens Up

It becomes clear within moments in the company of Marcus Bignot that he’s not a man even remotely keen on sugarcoating anything.

“We’re going to be in the scrap all season, we’re aware of that,” he said. “We’re not deluded. There’s none of this four or five game winning run, no - that's not likely to happen.

“We’re not going to float off into the top half of the table and live happily ever after. If we are going to be safe it is going to go down to the last month and last games of the season.

“We know that. There will be other clubs who think they’ll be OK, but we aren’t one of those. It’s not a confidence thing, it’s reality.

“We know we’re in a relegation battle all the way through to the end of the season. What we’re creating in our dressing room is a process of getting them ready for that, getting the players battle hardened for what's ahead. A huge fight.”

The cold, hard truth is something Bignot has had to contend with himself in 2017.

Getting his Football League chance at Grimsby Town, he lasted only five months before seeing the carpet pulled from under him.

But he’s making a big impression at Chester. So big in fact his players were devastated they didn’t win at Leyton Orient on Tuesday night, taking a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

“If the league would have started ten games ago when we were in charge, then we would be out of the bottom four. We’re going in the right direction," he concluded.

“I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve had in football and I’m loving this one. I’m feeling at home and I feel we are going about things the right way.

“People have a perception of Chester, usually it’s that they shouldn’t be where they are in the league and so on. They shouldn’t be in and around the relegation places, but the reality is a lot different.

“That is where they have been for a while, but I look forward to changing that. When we do, that will be a massive success story.”

Chester are the live BT Sport Saturday lunchtime offering when they welcome Dagenham & Redbridge.

There’s only one thing on Bignot’s mind, and he’s not afraid to share a view that many managers would shy away from.

“Our goal is survival, pure and simple,” he accepts. “How do we stay up? First and foremost it’s about working with this talented group of players we have here and making sure, above everything else that we’re still a National League side in May.

“People underestimate what a big achievement that would be because this is such a strong division now. Just look at the clubs in and around the bottom places - Leyton Orient, Torquay, Eastleigh - clubs with history and clubs with finance.

“I’ll always get results. I’ve done that wherever I have gone. But I’m also a builder. It’s not a case of getting results and thinking it’s job done, it’s always looking into the future. It’s about progression.

"I honestly believe I will bring success. I have a vision, I know where I see the club going. But it’s going to be really difficult.

“Some teams are starting to really pick up results near us, but some clubs just above us aren’t. For us to be just three points away from Leyton Orient, it’s just shows how ridiculously competitive this league is and the size of the task we face.

“The right here, right now is that we’re still in the bottom four and in my ten games I haven’t yet managed to push out out of it.

“But the results and the performances are there, we know that if we continue this then I believe we will only get better.”

Where next?

Young Loan Duo Return For Another Spell At Nuneaton Young defender Darragh Leahy and forward Kyle McFarlane have re-joined Nuneaton Town on loan from SkyBet League Two neighbours Coventry City and Champinship side Birmingham City respectively.
Full Preview Of Saturday`s Buildbase FA Trophy Ties It`s the Third Qualifying Round of the Buildbase FA Trophy this weekend, and it`s the round before teams from the Vanarama National League enter the competition.

Chester Video playlist

Match centre

Vanarama National League North
Vanarama National League South