ANTHONY JOHNSON is happy to ‘front up’ to Chester supporters after defeats - but only if their criticism is justified.

Following last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at York City, Johnson approached the club’s travelling supporters at Bootham Crescent as some sought to air their grievances.

Whilst acknowledging that the majority took a measured view of the performance, Johnson says that others lacked ‘balance and perspective’.

“The fans have paid their money and have the right to voice an opinion,” said the Blues joint-manager.

“I went over to hear what they were saying. One guy was quite agitated and was saying to me ‘this keeps happening’.

“That was a pretty strange thing to hear just after you’ve lost back-to-back league games for the first time this season.

“Some of the stuff that’s said immediately after a defeat is reactionary and doesn’t reflect the facts. You just need a bit more balance and perspective sometimes.

“Whether it’s on social media or to my face, to call it a ‘disgrace’ after we’ve lost a game to one of the top sides in the league is pretty disheartening.

“I get that there are frustrations among the supporters. In our time here we’ve had glimpses of getting near the top of the table, but we’ve fallen away from it.

“The fact is though, if we’d drawn these last two games against York and Gateshead, we’d still be fourth.

“Of course we’re frustrated at losing those two games, but it’s not hurt us too badly and we look to put it right this weekend.”

A home clash with struggling Blyth Spartans awaits Chester on Saturday as the hosts look to keep pace with their high-flying National League North rivals.

Currently fourth in the table, the Blues now face a battle to consolidate a play-off berth as the race for the top seven intensifies.

And Johnson insists that nothing other than three points will be acceptable against the Spartans.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to it. It wouldn’t matter who we were playing this weekend - we’ve got to win.

“You look at the fixture list this weekend and see that some of the sides around us are playing each other and that King’s Lynn at the top have no game.

“Something’s got to give in this situation and it’s an opportunity for us to open up gaps on the teams below us. and make some ground on the teams above.

“Based on league position alone, the Blyth game is one we should be winning at home.It won’t be an easy game at all, but our only focus is taking three points from the game to get back on track.

“Ignoring what happened at York, we’re looking to build a strong points tally in February and hopefully a result on Saturday will be the platform for that.”

Blues striker George Waring remains sidelined with a cheekbone injury while full-back Jamie Morgan serves a one-match suspension after his dismissal at York last weekend.

Other fixtures: Altrincham v Kettering; Boston v York; Bradford PA v Gloucester; Curzon Ashton v Gateshead; Farsley v Alfreton; Guiseley v Telford; Hereford v Southport; Kidderminster v Darlington; Spennymoor v Brackley.