THE Blues may have to turn elsewhere for midfield inspiration at Saltergate as French star Damien Mozika is struggling with a groin injury.
The 21-year-old has been a driving force for Chester all season but his 100% appearance record could be spoiled as he is likely to miss tomorrow’s trip to Chesterfield.
Mozika injured his groin during Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Morecambe and struggled to finish the game.
Chester boss Simon Davies said: “We’ve just got to be a bit cautious with Damien because he’s of massive importance to us. He’s done really well this year and, although I want him to play Saturday, I’d rather him miss one game than six. If he makes it worse on Saturday, he could be out for a while.”
With Mozika struggling, Davies is hoping Anthony Barry can repeat the performance he turned in for the final half-hour of Tuesday’s cup tie.
The recalled former Yeovil playmaker showcased the full range of his passing skills after being moved inside from the right wing to the centre of midfield.
The Morecambe game was Barry’s first start since August 23 and Davies is hoping the 22-year-old can now kick-start his Blues career.
“Ant was probably my first signing and the one I wanted more than anything,” said the Chester manager. “He played 30-odd games for Yeovil in League One last season so we all know what he can do. I think he was just a bit unfortunate. We didn’t have a great start to the season and he played in those games.
“When we changed it in the Barnet game, he missed out. But the thing with Anthony is he’s a true professional. He works hard and does all the things right and never moans about anything.
“His chance came up the other night and I thought he took it.”
Stephen Vaughan would be the most obvious candidate to replace Mozika should the Frenchmen fail to recover from his groin injury, although Jay Harris could also come in.
Ryan Lowe and Paul Taylor are pushing hard for recalls up front and at least one of them looks certain to play at Saltergate as Richie Partridge (groin) is ruled out.
Chesterfield expect to be at full-strength.