MICHAEL Branch sat out Chester City's clash with Torquay United against his wishes following a disagreement with Mark Wright over his fitness.
The 27-year-old City skipper made himself available for selection on Tuesday, but Wright had been advised by the club doctor that Branch was ill so the Blues boss refused to include him in his squad.
With Stewart Drummond taking the captain's armband, Branch watched the 1-1 draw with the Gulls from the stands.
Wright said: 'Michael Branch did not feature because he was ill the day before and the doctor said he was not to be selected.
'He turned up without letting any of us know, saying he was fit enough. Well, he wasn't. He didn't let anybody know.
'The doctor tells us he wasn't fit and all of a sudden Michael Branch turns up.'
The Chester boss added: 'If Michael Branch is on top of his game and is a confident player and doing the right things and working hard for the team, then I think he is a major plus.
'But I think people here at this moment in time have got to understand it's about work ethic, work rate and commitment to the cause and if you do that, then we'll get ourselves out of trouble.
'But I don't think the penny has dropped with everybody over what situation Chester are in.'
Branch was due to return to training yesterday and could be included in the squad for tomorrow's visit to Darlington.
'He's got to prove to me he is fit and he's at it,' added Wright.