SEAN NEWTON believes that current club York City and title rivals Chester are overdue an upturn in fortunes.

The 31-year-old left back, who is now in his third full season with York, signed his first professional contract with the Blues in 2007, making a couple of appearances.

He will return to the Deva on Saturday with the unbeaten Minstermen in a top of the table National League North clash.

And Newton says the future of both clubs looks bright after their troubled recent history.

“From my point of view it’d be great if we could both go up this season,” he said. “Us as champions, obviously, with Chester going up through the play-offs.

“Personally, I don’t think either York or Chester belong at this level of football.

“Fans of both clubs have gone through a lot in terms of relegation and the financial problems - they’re definitely due a bit of luck by now.”

Steve Watson’s York side have been in fine form to date, undefeated in 13 league games and into the first round of the FA Cup.

Newton capped a man-of-the-match display with a vicious left-footed strike that wrapped up a 2-0 cup win over Stockport County at the weekend.

He said: “Confidence is high in the squad right now and it should be. Particularly for us defenders, we’re really proud of our record so far this season.

“We’re working under a brilliant manager, who’s one of the best I’ve ever worked with. Whether you’re playing or not, he gets the best out of you and makes sure everyone is treated the same.

“Steve’s a brilliant man-manager and he never lets standards drop and the players respect that.”

Newton has been integral to York’s success this season, forming part of the league’s meanest defence with just seven league goals conceded to date.

The Liverpool-born defender, who spent two seasons at Wrexham and captained the club in the 2016/17 campaign, knows just how tough it can be winning at Chester.

He was part of the Reds side who were beaten 3-2 by their cross-border rivals in the 2015/16 campaign.

“John Rooney scored a brilliant free-kick for Chester in that game,” he said. “It was horrible to be on the losing side - the Wrexham fans were unhappy and obviously Chester supporters were all loud and proud at full-time. It wasn’t nice at all.”

Much has changed at Chester in the intervening four years, with the free-scoring Blues poised to mount a serious title challenge this term.

Newton has been impressed by the work done by joint-managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley and expects a stern test this weekend.

“It should be a great game,” he said. “Chester will have a big crowd there and I’m sure their players will be as desperate to win as we are to win.

“We’ve had brilliant travelling support of 700-plus at some games this season and I’m sure they’ll be out in force again on Saturday.”