ROSS KILLOCK is determined to reward Chester with their patience as he nears a return to action.
The 22-year-old has suffered terrible luck with injuries since re-joining the Blues in the summer, having made 19 appearances with the club back in 2014.
The former Leeds full-back has was sidelined with a calf injury until mid-October, and only lasted 10 minutes of his return as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 draw at Macclesfield before pulling up with a torn hamstring.
Speaking about his injury torment, Killock has since discovered both his injuries on his right leg were linked, and has set about a period of recovery and physiotherapy to strengthen the area.
The defender came through a full 90 minutes of reserve team action last week in a 2-1 friendly defeat against TNS, and was subsequently named on the bench for the home clash with Gateshead on Saturday.
“I felt good, I enjoyed it and it was great to be back,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I last played 90 minutes of football so it was really good to be back on the pitch.
“When you go back into challenges, running at full pace, it obviously plays on your mind a bit.
“My hamstring has been a major injury but I had a few tough challenges and sharp sprints in the first 10-15 minutes so I got those out of the way and you forget about it.
“I’ve had hamstring and calf injuries, all down my right-hand side basically, problems with the allignment.
“But the club have been really good, they put me onto the right people and they’ve kept me involved on matchdays.
“It’s hopefully all sorted now so hopefully I can push forward. It was only a friendly but I felt quite sharp out there, I had no issues and I haven’t in training since so hopefully I can crack on now.”
Chester boss Jon McCarthy has repeated his desire to keep hold of Killock and believes he can be a focal part of the first-team for the remainder of the campaign, and the former Halifax defender wants to repay the faith shown in him.
“They’ve shown a lot of faith in me, they’ve not pushed me to the side after two or three injuries I’ve had,” he continued.
“The club could’ve said ‘right, you’re done for the year’ and that would’ve been that, but they’ve been really keen for me to get back playing as soon as I can.
“I feel like I’m on my way back to full fitness and hopefully I can start to make up for lost time.”
“The type of person I am I want to be playing all the time, I’d love to play on Saturday. But it’s probably not going to happen, the defenders are doing well at the moment and I have to bide my time.
“We’ve got Sam (Hughes) back as well now who has been playing really well so I know I’ve got some work to do to push my way up the pecking order.
“I’ll hopefully keep getting some reserve team games, I’ll keep working hard and we’ll see where it takes me.”
After six defeats in eight matches, the Blues now lie 12th and supporters could be forgiven for thinking there is now little to play for until the end of April, but Killock strongly disagrees.
“We don’t want this season to peter out now,” he added. “We’re in a rough run at the minute, I think all the lads are still working hard in training and working hard in the matches to try and turn things around.
“We’ve had a couple of frustrating away games down at Dover and Dagenham where we should have picked up points.
“Dover was strange as we dominated and didn't deserve to lose 3-1 and then Dagenham we did the same and came unstuck, possibly we were a little bit naive there.
“We need to put a couple of wins together and that will keep the season alive.”