Neil Young believes his surprise decision to the send fans’ favourite Ben Mills out on loan to league rivals Altrincham will reap big benefits for both the player and Chester FC.
The striker became an instant hit at the Exacta Stadium after scoring nine times in eight appearances during a one-month loan from Macclesfield Town at the start of the season.
But the goals have not flowed quite as freely since he joined the Blues on a permanent transfer in November.
Mills has found the net just three times in 12 games following his four-figure move from the full-time Silkmen and after closely monitoring his performances, Young reckons a month away at play-off pushing Altrincham will do the 23-year-old a ‘world of good’.
The Robins have a packed programme of matches in March – including one against second-placed Guiseley – and Young is hopeful they will give Mills the chance to regain his confidence in front of goal.
The Chester manager then plans to recall the former Nantwich Town hitman for his table-topping team’s final games of the campaign.
Young said: “Ben Mills will go out and have four weeks up at Altrincham.
“I think he’s struggled a little bit with the transition from full-time to part-time football, which we can understand.
“He’s a good player and a big part of our plans but he knows himself and we know from training and the games he’s played behind closed doors that he’s lacking in confidence.
“He needs to be back playing week in week out, scoring goals and getting back to where he was.
“I think four weeks away will do him the world of good.”
The release of Mills – whose workrate has never diminished in spite of his drop in form – comes after Young made a high-profile swoop for Lee Trundle.
It will also enable the Blues boss to complete a one-month loan deal for Crewe Alexandra winger Brendon Daniels.
The powerful and pacy 19-year-old has made 10 appearances for the League One outfit this season and is highly rated by the Gresty Road coaching staff, although he is not part of their immediate first-team plans.
Young said: “Brendon can play on either flank or behind the front, he’s very quick and hopefully he’ll give us something that we’ve not had since we lost Craig Curran – that goal threat from those areas.”
Chester FC stretched their unbeaten North West Youth Alliance Premier Division run to seven games on Sunday after they drew 2-2 at home to Altrincham.
The young Blues twice took the lead, through Carl Pleavin and Calum Bratley, and had the chance to win it after the Robins equalised for the second time.
But winger Pleavin was unable to provide a finishing touch to an excellent move involving Jack Joinson and the lively Sean Miller.
Sam Rowley was named Chester’s man of the match after producing an inspirational performance.
Dee 106.3 is running a competition, called ‘The Champagne Moment’, for Chester FC fans to celebrate its 10th anniversary of broadcasting across the city’s airwaves.
Supporters are invited to tell the station their best memory of supporting the Blues in the last 10 years.
All entrants will go into a draw to win a night out for two in the Legends Lounge for next Wednesday’s home clash with Gainsborough Trinity.
Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date is Monday.