CHESTER boss Anthony Johnson has challenged returning striker Danny Elliott to make himself a hero in the club’s bid for promotion.

A successful month-long loan spell at National League North rivals Alfreton Town saw Elliott net five times in as many games for the Derbyshire side.

Now back with the injury-hit Blues, joint-manager Johnson hopes the 24-year-old forward can hit the goal trail and sustain the club’s push for the play-offs.

“Hopefully he can come in and be like a new signing for us - and that’s how Danny’s got to see this opportunity,” said Johnson.

“He’s got eight league goals in total for the season now and he’s been in top form in this last month or so.

“This is a chance for him to try to replicate those types of performances with us. If he can, then he can make himself the hero and come up with the goals that get us over the line in the games we’ve got left this season.”

Elliott will come straight into contention for Saturday’s home clash with in-form Gateshead, who beat the fourth-placed Blues 2-0 last month and are now just two points behind them.

Injuries to striking duo Akwasi Asante (hamstring) and Matty Hughes (knee) mean the Nottingham Forest academy product could partner the returning George Waring in attack.

And Johnson has urged his side to bounce back from a ‘galling’ defeat to Brackley Town at the weekend, where a defensive mix-up between goalkeeper Russ Griffiths and full-back Matty Waters led to the visitors snatching a 90th minute winner.

He added: “We weren’t at our best on Saturday and to drop a point in the way we did has set us back a bit.

Just before Brackley’s third went in, we were the side who were actively looking to win the game, but a mistake at the end has cost us.

“Four points from the King’s Lynn and Brackley games would have been a good return for us and although people talk about our lack of consistency, we’ve been around the top three or four all season and we’re still there with 11 games to go.

“No team in the league has had as tough a run as we’ve had in the last few weeks and it gets no easier on Saturday.

“It’s the old cliche of it being another six-pointer and it’ll be the same against Altrincham and Boston after that.

“Before the season started I fully expected Gateshead to be in the top five by the end of it.

“They’re a full-time side and I thought they were excellent against us at their place, so it’s going to be tough.”

Centre-back Danny Livesey and midfielder George Glendon miss out with hamstring injuries while influential full back Joel Taylor is a doubt with an ankle problem.

Leaders York, who are eight points clear of Chester, host Curzon Ashton while second-placed King’s Lynn are at home to Southport.

Other fixtures: Blyth Spartans v Kettering; Boston Utd v Farsley; Darlington v Brackley; Gloucester v Alfreton; Hereford v Altrincham; Kidderminster v Guiseley; Leamington v Bradford PA; Spennymoor v Telford Utd.