James Akintunde expects upturn in Chester's fortunes


Charlie Croasdale

James Akintunde believes ‘results will come’ for Chester if they continue in a similar vein to their recent performances.

Displays under new manager Marcus Bignot have certainly improved in recent weeks, with a 3-2 victory over Barrow backed up by a stirring comeback to secure a 2-2 draw at Eastleigh, having trailed 2-0 on the hour mark, with striker Akintunde on target to secure that valuable point.

However, a 1-0 home defeat in last week’s cross-border derby against bitter rivals Wrexham means the Blues remain firmly in the National League’s bottom four, with Chester still paying the price for winning just one of their opening 11 matches of the campaign, a run which led to previous boss Jon McCarthy being sacked from his role in charge.

But 21-year-old forward Akintunde is confident former Solihull and Grimsby Town boss Bignot will turn things around at the Deva, but did concede time is of the essence with 19 games of the National League season already played, and tough away trips to Bromley and Leyton Orient to follow over the next seven days.

“He is a great manager and over time he has spoken about structure, roles and responsibility and the boys are getting the hang of it now,” said Akintunde.

“The results will come, we just need a big win that we can kick on from.

“The points matter, that’s why we are in the position we are in. We just need that one game that can boost everyone’s confidence and we can kick on from there.

“But it’s all about winning games. Against Wrexham and in other recent games we had a performance but we just haven’t got the wins.”

Akintunde struck the bar with a second-half shot from 25 yards against Wrexham, and Lucas Dawson also struck the woodwork on an unlucky night for Chester.

However, Akintunde alluded to the fact Wrexham’s defence is the reason ‘they are right up there’ and felt a lack of ‘desire’ cost the Blues when it really mattered, as Shaun Pearson was able to guide home the winning goal with a first-half header.

“As soon as they scored they came out in the second half to defend the lead, but I guess that’s why they are up there, because they can defend well,” he continued.

“They didn’t have many chances, but we just didn’t have the desire to win the set-piece and they scored.

“After that the boys were quality, we came back out and we were fighting.

“If you watched the game either here or at home, we probably had more possession and more chances but they sat in and defended well. We hit the crossbar and hit the post and it was a bit of bad luck.”

Akintunde will be hoping to play some part in Chester’s Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Altrincham tonight.

Chester will come up against former striker Tom Peers and ex-goalkeeper Tony Thompson.

Altrincham, impressive 4-1 winners over Ramsbottom United in the FA Trophy on Saturday, also have former Blue, John Disney and ex-Airbus and Connah’s Quay Nomads left-back Lewis Short in their squad.

n Former Chester City striker Alan Tarbuck has been re-elected as chairman of the Chester Former Players’ Association.

The current committee unanimously voted that Tarbuck, who scored 29 goals in 82 appearances for the Blues between 1969 and 1972, carry on in the role for another 12 months.

“It’s been another good year for the FPA,” he said. “Our membership has increased to 153 and we’re pleased to welcome Jimmy Redfearn as our latest member.

“The highlight of the year was our Golf Day in July which brought lots of ex-players together. We were also very pleased to make a donation to help Neil Carroll in his ongoing fight to recover from serious injury.”

The FPA officers and committee for the next 12 months are: Gary Talbot (president), Alan Tarbuck (chairman/treasurer), Chas Sumner (secretary), Charlie Lambert (press officer), Graham Abel, Bob Delgado, John Evans and Dennis Reeves.



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