PETER Jackson has issued a special ‘thank you’ message to Blues fans as he looks forward to an emotional return to the Deva Stadium tomorrow.
The 47-year-old former Chester defender heads back to his former club as manager of Lincoln City.
It will be the first time he has returned to the Deva since undergoing successful treatment for throat cancer earlier this year.
Jackson was inundated with messages of goodwill from football fans from across the country during his illness – and plenty of them came from Chester supporters.
“I’d like to thank Chester fans because I got a lot of e-mails and cards from the Chester public wishing me well,” said Jackson, who took a break from management in March to undergo treatment.
“I am getting better but it’s a five-year process that I have got to go through. I’ve had the OK but I’ve got to be careful for the next five years.”
Jackson was told his treatment had been a success in June and he is now back in the dugout with the Imps. They have started the season slowly, winning only one of their opening eight games and losing four.
Having sold seven players and signed nine over the summer, Jackson admits his team is yet to gel.
“I’ve got some really good players but I feel we’ve underachieved and have drawn too many games,” said the Imps boss, who played 100 games for Chester from 1994-97.
“I brought in nine new players during the summer and I’m confident we will be up there at the end of the season.
“We need to put a run together. If we play and perform like we can do, we’ll be well up there.”
Jackson is looking forward to meeting up with Chester assistant boss Wayne Allison tomorrow.
Allison enjoyed a successful spell as a player under Jackson’s management at Huddersfield Town, forming a lethal partnership with Marcus Stewart.
“I still speak with Wayne,” said Jackson. “I paid £700,000 for him when I brought him from Swindon. He’s a personal friend of mine, I’ve got a lot of time for him and I’m sure he’ll be good for Chester.”
Jackson has rarely crossed paths with Chester boss Simon Davies, but he admires the way the former Manchester United player is adapting to management.
Having started the season poorly, the Blues are currently on a five-match unbeaten run.
Jackson said: “Full credit to the manager and Wayne Alison, they’ve tuned it round. There’s a long way to go as we all know, but from that bad start they’ve started picking up and are a hard side to beat.
“Simon took over at a difficult time for the club but they stuck together and he managed to keep them up.
“After a rocky start this season, they’ve pulled together and I fully respect that. Being a young manager is a difficult job, as I know.”
City’s youngsters lost their latest FA Youth Alliance fixture at the weekend, going down 2-1 to Wigan Athletic. Tomorrow they travel to Port Vale.