CHESTER City boss Mark Wright may be willing to give Tony Dinning another chance to prove himself after holding clear-the-air talks with the veteran midfielder.
Outcast Dinning, 33, was a star performer for the Blues on Saturday after surprisingly being handed a starting place for the 1-1 draw at Lincoln City.
Chester’s crippling injury and suspension problems forced Wright to turn to Dinning, who had not appeared for the club since being sent off at Bournemouth on December 6.
“Having made no bones about it, we didn’t want him to play for us,” said Wright, who ruled out the possibility of picking Dinning at his weekly press briefing last Thursday.
“But sometimes with injuries and suspensions and whatever you have, you have to come to a compromise. You have to talk about things. I did with him. He wanted to play and I thought he did pretty good.”
Dinning, who is fresh from an unsuccessful trial with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, was frozen out of the first-team picture by previous manager Simon Davies. His days at the Deva looked to be numbered after he faced the wrath of new boss Wright following his needless red card at Bournemouth.
But with Laurence Wilson and James Vaughan suspended and the likes of Shaun Kelly, Paul Butler, Eddie Johnson and Stephen Vaughan out injured, Wright’s selection options were severely limited at Lincoln – so he turned to Dinning.
It is now up to Wright to decide whether he wants the former Wolves man to remain with the first-team squad, or whether he sees his future as lying elsewhere.
Dinning was deployed in the heart of a three-man defence at Sincil Bank alongside Kevin Roberts and Paul Linwood, who also drew praise from the Blues boss.
Wright, who named three teenagers on the bench at Lincoln, said: “It was a long time coming for the performance of Linwood and Roberts. I thought they were aerially outstanding.
“Lincoln did have a lot of pressure, of course they did, and it was a pressure game. I thought we did outstandingly well for the side we had to put out. Big, big credit to our boys. Fantastic credit. They deserve a big pat on the back.”
The Blues hung on for a point bravely after Lee Frecklington’s header early in the second half cancelled out Anthony Barry’s long-range opener.
It was Barry’s first goal for Chester – and Wright feels he has the potential to score more.
“He threatens that in training all the time,” said the Chester manager, who was unhappy to see a couple of penalty claims turned down by referee Nigel Miller.
“When he catches one, he scores goals like that in training every week.”
Damien Mozika suffered a hamstring injury at Sincil Bank, making him a doubt for tomorrow’s League Two clash at Port Vale.