ANTHONY JOHNSON should be gearing up for the biggest game of Chester’s season tonight as the Blues face promotion rivals AFC Fylde at The Deva Stadium.

But with non-league football in total turmoil amid the coronavirus crisis, Johnson admits that for once football - and this top-of-the table showdown - is not number one on his list of priorities.

Chester, who are second in the table behind leaders Gloucester City, announced last week that they want the season to end now.

Their opponents last Saturday, Kettering Town, refused to play until National League chiefs give them and all clubs at this level certain guarantees on how the sports funding package will work.

The League is expected to declare the results of the vote soon but have given clubs no update on whether tonight’s midweek programme should get the green light.

“We’ve got to prepare for a game and you are not the only one asking if the game is on,” said frustrated joint Blues boss Johnson.

“Before I took your call I had a player asking the same thing. He needs to know whether he has to get off work early.

“I’ve got other lads working evening shifts who have already pencilled in what time to take off when we have midweek fixtures.

“I’m really finding it hard to motivate myself and this is ahead of a top of the table game between the clubs second and third in the division.

“For once with everything that’s been going on and balancing my own personal life, I’ve got to say that football is not my number priority. And that’s disappointing, very disappointing.”

Johnson had no qualms about the club’s decision, saying they want this season declared null and void, but admitted he’s gutted that he couldn’t continue his side’s push for promotion.

“Me and Bernard are totally behind what the club has said. They are safeguarding the future of the club, that must always come first,” added Johnson.

“It’s all about this football club being here in years to come and giving youngsters, like Will Goodwin who got a great move to Stoke, that chance.

“I am as gutted as I have ever felt in football. From mine and Bernard’s point of view, this has been two-and-a-half years in the making.

“We got to the play-offs last season and we’re second in the table now. So for the season to end again in February – and I know it hasn’t ended yet but you understand my point – is heartbreaking.”

If National League North and South clubs do decide to call time on this season, there will be no points per game scenario like last time because teams are yet to complete half their fixtures.

Johnson believes there should have been better leadership at National League level.

“Nobody knows what’s going on,” he added. “I’m talking to you about whether a game is going to take place. And that’s not right.

“I think it will get called off unless things change dramatically.”

Johnson, who could be placed on furlough along with his players if the season is ended prematurely, now has the dilemma of putting a team together that have played just 45 minutes each since their last match at Bradford Park Avenue 20 days ago.

“Players played 45 minutes each at TNS,” added Johnson. “That’s no preparation for a game like this.”