John McCombe insists Chester’s players are fully aware of the sort of points tally they need in order to beat the dreaded drop into National League North.

The Blues lie in a perilous position after 22 league games, 21st in the table and three points adrift of safety, and some 32 points shy of the 50-point mark that is generally regarded as the benchmark for survival in the non-league’s top tier.

Saturday’s 4-0 thumping at home to Dagenham and Redbridge did little to dispel the fear Chester are in grave danger, and skipper McCombe believes the next four matches – three of which are at home – against fellow strugglers Solihull Moors, Halifax Town, Guiseley and promotion-chasing Hartlepool, are crucial.

“Definitely, that belief is there,” he said. “I’m absolutely gutted because we’ve played one of the best teams in this league in Dagenham and first-half we shackled them. They have three or four individuals who can win a game on their own.

“We’ve switched off second-half, people stopped doing their jobs and we’ve let them in. But we have shown periods in the past five games that we are a good team and we’ve matched every team we’ve played.

“These games coming up are crucial against teams in and around us, but look, over the course of a season we know full well how many points a team gets relegated with.

“We know how many is needed to normally stay up, so whether we pick them up against Dover, Tranmere, whoever the bigger teams are in the league, or we pick them up against Solihull and Halifax, if we get enough points then we’ll stay up, if we don’t then we’ll be going down.

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