JOINT-BOSS Marcus Bignot believes his young Guiseley team must step up quickly if they are worthy of playing at Vanarama National League North (NLN) level.

Defeat at Chester on Tuesday sentenced the Lions to 20th, above the drop zone by virtue of their goal difference.

It is worrying times for a club who were on the edge of the playoffs in the previous campaign before it got curtailed.

A small budget has caused Russ O'Neill and Bignot to go down the unproven route and it has not quite worked yet.

The latter said: "Technically we are down as a group, but you would expect that in terms of the players we are recruiting and the levels they have been playing at.

"They are not going to be NLN ready-made players at this moment of time.

"Physically they are equipped but they have got to understand how they apply that.

"It is a relentless league and for us it is the mentality of this young group in terms of how you apply yourself in games.

"They are trying their best, but they have got to learn the game and what it takes to win.

"Sometimes it can go by the odd goal like it has been against York (1-0 loss on December 28) and Chester who are both teams expected to be promoted, is that unlucky?

"The bottom line is it is not we have just not been good enough. We have to find a way quickly."

Bignot was keen to ask lots of questions to his squad, heavily beefed up of academy products, after only winning three league games so far this term.

They travel to their rescheduled game at Farsley Celtic on Saturday badly in need of three points.

He added: "We are getting close just not close enough. We have not got time and we have to turn this around quickly.

"We are a third of the season gone so the question has to be asked. Are we learning or continuing to be naïve making the same mistakes?

"We are at a crossroads in terms of our players being able to learn and understand what’s required. Or is it just not in their capabilities?

"Are they ready now for this level or will it take a bit more time?

"Experience is not even about age it is about going through these adversities and learning from them.

"Now how many are going to go on to this next third and really understand what it takes. We can’t keep driving; we need some players to step up and lead now."

Guiseley can play on thanks to the NLN's 'elite' status with the 'non elite' divisions of football, steps 3-7, suspended until further notice due to the national lockdown.

"It is a godsend for mental wellbeing," Bignot said.

"For us to be able to continue going to work, a place which we love and enjoy, we feel blessed.

"But we still have to understand this pandemic is serious and do all we can to make sure elite football continues through this lockdown.

"It is really important for everyone involved that it does continue but you can't be putting people at risk. That is the trade off."