High-flying Chester are earning the ‘respect’ of their National League North clubs, says joint-manager Bernard Morley.

The Blues were in commanding form again on Saturday as they comfortably dispatched fellow promotion-hopefuls Guiseley in a 3-1 home success.

After just one defeat in their opening 10 games, third-placed Chester are already justifying their pre-season billing as title contenders.

And Morley believes that their league rivals will all have taken note of their impressive recent displays.

“We’re certainly a side that other teams are going to show a lot of respect to,” he said.

“On our day, we’re as good as anybody in this league. It’s about consistency - last Saturday (at Spennymoor Town) still grates on me because I still believe we should be unbeaten after 10 games.

“But it’s a case of chalking those 10 games off now and starting again and seeing if we can go unbeaten over the next 10.

“We’ve got some big sides coming up over the next couple of months, which we’re looking forward to. But ultimately you can only judge yourself on where you are at the minute and we’ve given ourselves the right platform.”

As well as being the division’s third-highest scorers this term, Chester also boast the second best defensive record.

And Morley maintains that a swagger has returned to his side’s playing style this season, typified by their new-found winning mentality.

He added: “With this team, when we concede we know we’re good enough to go and get a goal or two at the other end. Last season heads went down automatically when we went one-nil down whereas now we’re picking the ball out of the back of the net putting it back on the spot and going again.

“That’s something we’ve tried to install and implement into the game from our side. There’s a real confidence about this team - a bit of swagger and belief. Winning games breeds confidence. What we don’t want is to be over-confident. We’re 10 games in and third in the league and we’d have absolutely snatched your hand off if you’d told us that before the season started.

“But we deserve it. You saw (against Guiseley) in the 95th minute we were still working hard.The bodies are conditioned and we looked like machines out there.”

Chester will face league rivals Altrincham in the Second qualifying round of this season’s FA Cup.

The Blues, who bagged an injury-time leveller against Alty in last month's league clash, will have home advantage on September 21.