Chester FC: Who Do The Blues Play In Pre Season?

It's going to take some response from the Chester FC players in this Saturday's home clash with Boreham Wood to get the fans back on side.

That much was made clear by the reaction of the seriously short-changed supporters who made the trip to Aggborough last weekend to witness the club's latest abject FA Cup exit.

It is also made clear by the responses of our fans' jury members, some of whom stayed behind after the 2-0 defeat to Kidderminster Harriers to let the players know what they had served up simply was not good enough, to this week's question...

What were your thoughts on the performance at Kidderminster - and the reaction to it? And what needs to happen next?

Here's what they had to say...

Alex Bullions

"Although the performance against Kidderminster was arguably one of the worst since reformation, it's hopefully only a blip. Since Marcus Bignot was appointed, the Blues' performances have been much improved. The display against Maidenhead was faultless, the loss against Woking was tough to take, but there were positives to extract, and while we were poor going forward against Tranmere, defensively, and more specifically in goal, we were excellent.

"However, Saturday ended the honeymoon period. Sometimes it feels like the club refuses to show ambition in the FA Cup, despite the financial rewards at stake. The reaction from the fans was completely justified. It felt like I was watching Jon McCarthy football; football that we should have been left behind when he departed the club. I remained with the fans that stayed behind until about 5.10pm to grill the players. However, I didn't speak. I just wanted to listen, and it really hit me how passionate we are. I knew we were, but Saturday really showed.

Blues fans berate the players at the final whistle on Saturday

"One quote that hit me was, 'we have a passion, it's a shame you don't'. It made me think: do the players care? That's why we stayed on Saturday, to find out. I don't travel six hours up the country to home games to watch 11 footballers that don't care about the club.

"Something needs to change and I believe Bignot can make that happen. Going forward, the next thing that needed to happen was the switch to full-time football. This is now a reality and hopefully an extra midweek session to drill Bignot's philosophy into the players will be enough to get us playing again, and to lift us out of the relegation zone come Saturday. "

Danny McNally

"Can it even be classed as a performance? It was a horror show. Did we ever look like scoring? Did we even sustain a minute's worth of pressure? Did the players give it their all and fight for the club to get into the first round? No, no and no. It was a disaster. A disgrace. The players ought to be ashamed of themselves.

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"The abuse dished out towards the players by the loyal travelling support was totally justified, and we can only hope to see a reaction on Saturday. You play for Chester Football Club; 132 years of history. We've seen it all. Wake up and show us you care, because we do. We deserve better than this."

Rio Doherty

"Last Saturday was a abysmal; a complete horror show which was one of the worst Chester performances I have ever watched. We got absolutely out-run by a team who are a division below us. Give Kidderminster their due because they really deserved it, however it wasn't acceptable at all. Our supporters had the absolute right to voice their displeasure both during and after the game to the players.

"I stayed at the end to watch the players' reactions near us in the 'huddle'. Most need to realise how much this competition means to our club and supporters. A healthy following paid a lot of hard-earned money to witness that disgraceful display. The players lacked spark, passion, energy and didn't play for the shirt at all. Hopefully they can wake up now.

Emmanuel Sonupe scores for Kidderminster

"The only real 'positive' was Marcus Bignot's reaction. Whilst he has a massive task on his hands, I was impressed with how he is going to address this. Furthermore, I liked how he agreed with the supporters about the manner of our cup exit. Our football club has been awaiting to be a full-time outfit for a while, but Bignot has instantly put his foot down. I like his no-nonsense mentality. He clearly wants us to kick on.

"Now we have two very important home games up next. At least four points is a necessity. COYB!"

Phil Dilley

"Before addressing the reaction to our latest FA Cup capitulation, some context. To fall at the first hurdle in the FA Cup is always disappointing, doubly so where the prize money available is vital to a club without a benefactor, but sadly this is becoming something of a habit for the club since reformation.

"In 2012 we re-entered the competition for the first time, beating Gainsborough Trinity only to crash out in the third qualifying round to Halifax. This wasn't the end of the world. We were riding a wave of optimism as we stormed through the Conference North after back-to-back Evo-Stik titles. Back in the Conference in 2013, we lost in the fourth qualifying round to Gateshead; 2014 was much better with memorable away wins at Stockport and Southend before a replay exit to Barnsley in the second round; 2015 saw another fourth qualifying round exit to Altrincham, as did 2016 with a particularly supine performance at Southport.

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"With a new manager in place, and a tie against a team from the division below, we approached the FA Cup hopeful of progressing. I wasn't at the game on Saturday but listened to the excellent free commentary online. The performance by all accounts was terrible and unusually there was a strong demonstration of discontent from the travelling support. This was understandable given what we have suffered for the best part of a year on the pitch - and every year except 2014 in the FA Cup.

"I think the frustration of the fans represents a breaking point. Terrible in the league and only once reaching the first round proper in six attempts is simply not good enough for either the supporters or the coffers. What is important now is a response in the next two home games. We should support Marcus Bignot as the size of the task he has becomes apparent. His strong statement about the need to go full-time should be listened to. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

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"Without some FA Cup prize money this job just got a lot more difficult, including that desire to go full-time, which must have a financial impact. This is not Bignot's squad and already we have seen three new players brought in on loan. Some of the players are not performing at the required level, which has been obvious for some time. It has been pointed out that they were shielded from criticism by Jon McCarthy. Hopefully feeling the full force of this criticism after the Kidderminster game will have a positive impact. I would still expect to see some to be shown the door sooner rather than later.

"It is a cliché but we must now sort out our league form. There is still the FA Trophy to come which, while having smaller financial rewards, still has the prize of a Wembley cup final. That competition represents our best chance of inspiring the people of Chester to get down to the games this season. Football clubs must be realistic and operate within their means. Fans dare to dream. Reconciling these two things is the challenge now."

Adam Cain

"The Kidderminster game was disappointing but eminently predictable. This squad of players has managed to demonstrate over the course of the first three months of the season that, with a few exceptions, they are simply not good enough for the rigours of the National League.

"To lose to a National League North side in these circumstances was embarrassing. What is also more worrying is that the club has placed such emphasis on a good cup run, when quite clearly this set of players is not capable of showing the consistent level of performances to make such a dream reality.

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"A prudent and well-run club should see a cup run as an added bonus and certainly not budget for it. This is what Bob Gray always harked after during the end of the Vaughan era - surely we have learnt our lessons since then!

"What has surprised me is that the club has now decided that we are to operate on a full-time basis following Saturday's disastrous defeat. Why has the club decided to turn to full-time training now? This begs the question as to why this was not done at the start of the season to attract a better calibre of player. I do question whether the current squad can all commit to full-time training. Separately, where will additional funds come from to support this?

Chester players on the pitch after the final whistle

"Marcus Bignot's treatment of the squad on the pitch on Saturday reminded me of Phil Brown’s public criticism of his Hull City side at Manchester City a number of seasons ago, which resulted in him losing the dressing room and a severe deterioration in their form. Let's hope that Marcus hasn't lost the dressing room already.

"The club needs to restore some pride on the pitch and I am expecting a reaction on Saturday. The fans who travelled in their numbers to Kidderminster were short-changed and it is time for the current squad to demonstrate that they can compete at this level. If we lose on Saturday it is going to be an extremely long season."

Source : http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/chester-fc-fans-jury-the-13783833

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