James Akintunde hopes he can provide a lift for Chester FC in their final two games of the National League season after returning from injury.
The 21-year-old striker emerged from the bench as a late substitute in both the games against Forest Green Rovers and Woking over the Easter weekend after a six-month injury lay-off.
His absence has seen the Blues lack options up front for much of the season and has meant that the former Cambridge United man, who signed last summer after a successful trial spell, has been denied the chance to build on a promising start.
“I was out for a long while and when you are out of the game for that amount of time then it’s hard to keep your head up,” said Akintunde, who suffered knee ligament damage after a heavy training ground challenge.
“The fans, the team, the manager, everyone has been great for me. I’m really grateful and I just want to kick on and get fit. It’s been hard to just sit and watch the team as I just want to be out there and playing and helping out.
“I don’t feel that, because of my injury, I’ve had the chance to show the fans what I can do and I want to try and do that now if I can. I know I have to take it slow, though.
“The gaffer has been careful. If it was on my head then I would have been playing a few months ago and would have probably got injured again. The gaffer is playing me bit by bit, which is right, but I am back and want to make an impact now.”
Akintunde played a part in Chester’s second goal in the 3-2 loss at home to Woking on Bank Holiday Monday and provided a spark up front.
Akintunde has made 14 National League appearances for the Blues, although just three of those have been starts, and has netted three times.
With Kane Richards serving the third of his four-match suspension this weekend at Sutton United (3pm), Akintunde may yet get the chance to get another start under his belt before the season is out.
“The result (against Woking) was really disappointing but we have to keep on fighting,” said the Greenwich-born striker.
“We have Sutton away which we need a result from. We have to keep on fighting as a team and just hopefully keep strong. It’s a big weekend for us.”