Paul Turnbull is determined to put a ‘frustrating’ period behind him and fight for his place at Chester.
The midfielder picked up a fifth booking of the campaign at Bromley on November 18 leading to a one-match ban, and hadn’t featured since prior to last weekend’s FA Trophy win over AFC Fylde, introduced as a second-half sub by Marcus Bignot and scoring a crucial penalty in the shootout.
The 28-year-old explained he met with Bignot and has been assured he remains part of the manager’s plans moving forward.
“It was certainly good from a personal point of view to be back on the pitch,” said Turnbull.
“To get some minutes under the belt was good and to slot home a penalty was even better and it was a cracking win for us. It was a big moment for the football club, both the recent wins were.
“I got booked at Bromley, fifth caution, so I was suspended and just haven’t been able to get back in the side.
“It has been frustrating as I’ve come here to play. But look, these things happen in football and I’ve got to work hard to get my place back.
“I had a good chat with the manager, he sat me down and explained the situation. He assured me I’m still a part of his plans and as long as I’m still in his thoughts, I have no problem.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up and we all know in football, players pick up little knocks, suspensions, at this time of year.
“I’d never wish an injury on anyone but I will certainly be ready to play when the moment comes and I’d like to think I showed my worth against Fylde.”
Turnbull is an experienced campaigner, having played over 110 games for Macclesfield Town between 2013 and 2016, and knows Saturday’s trip to Halifax Town is the start of a ‘key’ run of games.
“I wouldn’t say it’s make or break, but we know December is a key month for us,” he continued.
“February/March is when you start worrying about games, for now we’ve just got to pick up as many points as we can.
“It’s important to win our home games, it’s massive to get the fans onside and give them something to cheer.
“We’re not going to win all our home games, but when we don't we have to make it a fortress where we don't lose, and then start picking up points on the road.
“Back-to-back wins are massive in this league and beating Halifax would drag them down into the battle.”
Despite being dropped from the squad for the recent win over Solihull, Turnbull insists he’s enjoying life under Bignot, as the Blues look to pull clear of the National League relegation zone.
“I’m enjoying working under Marcus, he’s got his own philosophy and his training sessions are fantastic,” he added.
“We’re more confident, better organised and more compact as a team.
“The switch to four day training has been no problem personally. I’m used to it at previous clubs so it’s been good.
“It’s good for the football club as a whole. It’s more professional, we're getting fitter with that extra day. It’s vital and it makes sense for the club.”