Johnny Hunt says Chester FC players are fully behind under-fire boss


Charlie Croasdale

JOHNNY HUNT insists Chester's players are fully behind under-fire manager Jon McCarthy ahead of Saturday's trip to Sutton.

Blues boss McCarthy has come under increasing pressure from supporters following a dismal run of seven successive home defeats, and four reversals in just nine days has seen Chester slide to 16th, just four points above the relegation zone with two games remaining.

Ahead of the clash at Gander Green Lane, full-back Hunt says the first-team will 'never turn' on McCarthy and called on Blues' supporters to get behind the whole club during the next week.

“It's frustrating saying we've still got to put it to bed, it should've been put to bed a long time ago,” he said.

“It'd be nice to win and we can look back at the season then. Football is funny. If we'd been terrible until Christmas and then gone on a good run, the fans would be saying different things.

“Fans are coming for the players and staff but if it was the other way around they'd be made up now.

“It's frustrating for them, I get that, and there's no shortage of hard work here. The players may have let the manager down but he'll back the players, he'll never turn on the players and we'll never turn on him. We've got a responsibility as a club to do better in these poor situations.

“Of course the likes of myself, Tom (Shaw), Luke (George), as a team and players we have to learn fast. It's a results business and that runs right through the club.

”You don't want the small-club mentality, where we play and it's just 'alright' if we win. I'm not into that, I'm here to win games. Every Chester fan would rather be sat mid-table after a few scrappy wins.

“If us older experienced lads can help drag the younger lads through then great, but we all need to be in it together.”

Tomorrow's opponents Sutton have a strong home record on their 4G 'plastic' pitch and the Blues previous experience on such a surface this season led to their worst away display of the campaign, crashing to a 4-2 defeat at Maidstone United, trailing 3-0 after just 20 minutes.

“At Maidstone I wouldn't say it was an excuse, we train on it everyday and it's the same for both teams,” explained Hunt, who says the surface is no excuse.

“We equally could've been four-up and everyone would be saying we play well on it. It doesn't make a difference, it's down to us as players to get the best out of ourselves on the day.

“There's some away games, like Bromley, I'd rather have played on a 4G because that pitch was terrible. There's no excuses at all, we can't get dragged under and no way we can start like Maidstone.”

Hunt admits away performances have been better in recent months and points to Chester's resilience on the road as reason to believe they can claim the spoils in Greater London this weekend.

“Monday was disappointing, we've lost again at home and it's not a run we're enjoying being on,” he added.

“But we'll get our heads down and try to finish the season with two wins. The lads are the first to hold their hands up that it's not been good enough but we're determined to put things right.

“Decision making, seeing games out, being horrible, we're not doing those things. But the pressure doesn't help, the run we've been on, it's one we can learn from and hopefully get those things sorted next season.

“In my opinion we're don't feel less pressure away from home. When we play at home, it's our home, we want it to be a hard place to come to.

“We only lost at home to Forest Green and Lincoln at home before Christmas but this run we've been on, it's been hard to pick up three points.

“When we're away, we are more resilient, we're more willing to just clear the ball if we need to see a game out.

“We've got to learn how to win games but we'll get there.”

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