Chester FC: Elliott Durrell insists Blues can damage Tranmere Rovers' promotion push


Charlie Croasdale

ELLIOTT DURRELL believes Chester are ‘more than capable’ of damaging Tranmere Rovers’ promotion hopes on Friday night.

Micky Mellon’s Rovers lie fourth in the National League table going into the televised clash at the Deva but midfielder Durrell wants Chester to show the same ‘character and fight’ which saw them come from two goals down to claim a thrilling 2-2 draw at Prenton Park in November.

Jon McCarthy’s Blues lie 11th in the standings, having ended a dismal run of four straight defeats with a 1-0 victory at Southport last weekend.

“Every game is a big game,” Durrell said. “I don’t know when my last derby or last game will be in football so you have to approach every game in the same manner.

“Tranmere are high-flying, they’ve had a good result against Barrow, and we’re both off the back of wins.

“We know we’re more than capable on the day. At their place I’d say our fans thought we were dead and buried at 2-0 down, but we showed character and fight to come back and if there had been a couple of extra minutes there would only have been one winner. We want to pick up from where we left off against them.

“We all know they will bring a good crowd and there will be a good crowd from our fans as there always is for us.

“After the show we gave them at Maidstone they stuck by us and came to Southport in numbers, you wouldn’t have blamed them for staying away.

“The fans know that a few bad results don’t tell the story and we could’ve had some results in those games.

“We’re the ones who have let results get away from us. Nobody else outside that changing room can do anything on the pitch. It was a sign of unity to register three points at Southport and now we can re-assess and set ourselves some new targets after the blip we had.

“There’s still a long way to go this season and it’s a platform that we can work from now.”

Chester, who were seventh and within touching distance of a play-off place in mid-December, have since suffered a significant loss of form with seven defeats in nine matches prior to last week’s success at Haig Avenue.

While hopes of a top five finish to extend their season have all but evaporated, 27-year-old winger Durrell insists there is still plenty to play for, starting with the Friday night derby encounter.

“We’ve not got the results we wanted lately and it was important to stop the rot. When you come to places like Southport you’ve got to expect a tough game,” he continued.

“We ground out a superb 1-0 win and it might not have been pretty at times but that’s what football is about.

“You keep a clean sheet and you give yourselves a much better chance to win the game. It won’t always be pretty, everybody who started showed that and the lads who came on. 

“We defended set pieces better than we have been doing and you could see what it meant to us.

“We’ve always believed, that belief never left us but when you have a few bad results it does have an impact. But we were confident that we’d pull through and we showed great character.

“We’ve stopped the rot and now we want to go on a run which we know we are capable of and finish the season strongly.”

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