Andy Halls is determined to win around the Chester supporters after an inaspicious start to the season.
The 25-year-old full-back joined the Blues in the summer from Macclesfield Town, but has struggled to find the form that made him one of the most consistent defenders in the National League.
Having lost his place due to suspension and the arrival of Reece Hall-Johnson on-loan, Halls admits the competition at right-back was desperately needed, and has since returned to the starting line-up in midfield against Maidstone and at centre-half in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Eastleigh.
“If I’m honest, when I got suspended I was happy someone came in to my position,” he explained.
“It sounds strange, but I need it, it pushes you on. When you’ve got no one challenging or pushing you for your position then it does affect you.
“I was pleased Reece has come in and done so well, especially after not doing so well myself.
“Then I got a chance (at Maidstone) playing in a position that I’ve played before but not for Chester. I felt a bit more free, like there was less pressure on me as I wasn’t expected to do that well in that position, but I managed to get some plaudits which was nice.
“I really enjoy it in midfield and it’s good to be able to help the gaffer out if he needs me in there.
“In every game I’ve always given 100 per cent for Chester. Some people might not agree, but that’s one thing I’ll guarantee is I’ll always give it my all even if I’m not playing too great.
“Maidstone, Eastleigh, they’re no different to at the start of the season in terms of effort, it’s just things happen in football sometimes. I’m game for doing a job wherever I’m needed.”
The former Stockport defender is relishing the prospect of his first cross-border derby tomorrow night, having first got a taste for the Chester-Wrexham rivalry when watching Ben Heneghan’s stoppage-time winner for the Blues on BT Sport back in September 2014.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he continued. “I watch one on TV a few years ago, there was a last-minute winner for Chester and I thought that’s a proper derby!
“I’ve never been involved in them at my previous clubs because the rival clubs have been in different leagues.
“There should be a cracking atmosphere, our crowd will be up. I know Wrexham have started well and are a strong team that don't concede many.
“We’ve put three decent performances in, let’s hope we can make it four in a row on Wednesday in a game we know means so much to the supporters and reward them with three points.”
Halls felt Chester should have left Eastleigh with all three points at the weekend but believes ‘silly goals’ have cost the side in recent weeks.
“Before the game we talked about taking something from the game, however it came about,” he added.
“The manager had a go at us that we were so comfortable but we were losing. It’s a results business at the end of the day.
“We’ve got to capitalise on our chances. We could’ve been 3-1 up at half-time and no one would’ve really questioned it.
“If you come away with at least a point it’s a good result. If we stop the silly goals we’re conceding recently, we could be talking about three points but it’s another positive performance.
“We were on the front foot, we played through the lines and I thought we were comfortable for long spells. We’ve put three good performances in now and we want to build on that now.”
See full story in the Chester Leader