GREGG Blundell is desperate to get the chance to shoot himself into the hearts of the Chester faithful tomorrow.
Blundell couldn't have asked for a tougher competitive debut than being thrown on at half-time in Tuesday's 5-1 Carling Cup mauling at Wolves.
The former Doncaster striker came through that test unscathed, but blotted his copybook with a lethargic first-half for the reserves in the 2-1 defeat at Tranmere the following night.
It was a 45-minute performance that earned him an ear-bashing from boss Keith Curle.
Curle said: 'If he is desperate to play on Saturday he didn't look like that in the first half for the reserves.
'I gave him a right rollocking at half-time. The minimum requirements from my centre forwards weren't there and he was told.
'Fair enough, he played the night before and he was playing an unfamiliar team with youngsters in it, but to their credit the teenagers were pound for pound punching their weight, Gregg wasn't.
'He accepted my observations and went out in the second half more like the Gregg Blundell I know. He gave the right reaction and takes a step closer to making his debut in the starting line-up.'
Blundell admitted he was dreaming of a goal scoring Deva debut against Darlington.
The 27-year-old said: 'I won't count my chickens but I would
love to be starting on Saturday - especially with it being at home. I want to be involved and get a goal in front of the home fans.
'The ankle felt good after Wolves, so hopefully I can force my way into the reckoning.
'I'd love to score but it's not about me scoring goals. We've got two games this weekend and the important thing is that we try and get six points to put us up near the top end of the league.'
With the Blues trailing at Molineux to Kenny Miller's first-half goal, Chester boss Keith Curle threw Blundell on after the break to offer support to lone striker Michael Branch.
But as fitness wore, class told and Wolves bagged goals from Darren Anderton, Vio Ganea and a Colin Cameron brace to put the game beyond the Blues.
Blundell said: 'It wasn't the way I planned to start my debut but things can only get better.'
Curle was more than happy with his striker's first run-out.
He said: 'Gregg's been champing at the bit and it was a good opportunity to get 45 minutes work in. The last ten or 15 minutes all I was doing was watching Gregg, just to see what his movement and work rate was like. I saw a lot of positives in that game from Gregg.'
Blundell said: 'After getting here and waiting all that time with the injury it was great to get out and it was nice to get a good reception off the fans.
'When I went on at half-time the lads had done brilliantly in the first half but unfortunately Wolves' quality shone through in the second half.
'The whole team are more or less a Premiership outfit. There were good lessons to be learnt and thankfully I don't think we will come across that quality in our league this year.'
Blues defender Luke Dimech gave a commanding display as Chester held their own for more than an hour against Glenn Hoddle's side, and despite the second-half collapse he believes many positives can be taken into this weekend's games.
Dimech said: 'I think the score was kind on them as we did very well until 60 minutes. They didn't really trouble us but towards the end the class started to show as we started to struggle as a team.
'Wolves is a great place to come and play and it's the sort of place where everyone who wants to be a footballer aspires to be.
'If we can learn from the way we performed and put it towards our campaign we should do very well because we held a good Championship side for 60 minutes.
'A lot of teams in our division won't have that quality to open us up and we can build on that and have a good season.
'Darlington will have good play-ers but they will not be as good as those at Wolves. We're at home and if our defence plays well and gives the players a good foundation then we can do well.'