Andy Halls insists Chester’s beleaguered players will continue to ‘give everything’ to try and pull off a miraculous relegation escape-act.

The crisis-hit Blues – who have seen supporters raise over £100,000 in the past two months to avoid the threat of insolvency – are eight points adrift of safety in the National League ahead of Saturday’s trip to high-flying Sutton United (3pm), with the chances of survival severely stacked against Marcus Bignot’s strugglers, who have won just six times all season. All is not lost though according to utility man Halls, who admits Chester have ‘lacked quality’ this season but denies there has ever been a lack of effort throughout a dismal campaign.

“Since the news came out about the finances, it’s not been easy for the players,” said Halls, who agreed to waive a clause in his contract which would have triggered a year-long extension on reaching 30 league starts.

“It’s not ideal, not great. The weeks when the likes of Paul (Turnbull), Kingsley (James) left, in a way we lost our chance (of staying up) when we lost these sorts of experienced players.

“Teams around us have been spending a lot of money and we can’t do that. Of course, it’s needs-must and it’s more important we’re able to put a team out each week under the name of Chester.

“When it boils down to it, we’ve lacked quality. As a group we thought we had the quality here to get ourselves out of the relegation zone, but you only have to look at the table.

“But there’s never been any lack of effort – in recent weeks we’ve produced performances the supporters can be proud of and we all care about this club. We play in the manager’s image,” he continued.

“The manager has given everything to this job since he came in, he’s been fighting battles on and off the pitch, he’s lost experienced players and his staff, and we will keep fighting and scrapping for him.”

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