Shane Sutton’s return is the perfect present for AFC Telford

AFC Telford United assistant boss Phil Trainer was delighted with the Christmas return of skipper Shane Sutton.

Shane Sutton
Shane Sutton

Centre-back Sutton returned for the 0-0 draw at National League North promotion-chasers Chester on Saturday.

Sutton has missed the majority of this campaign due to an ankle injury, but Trainer says he is now raring to go.

He said: “Shane put in an unbelievable performance. The clean sheet and his return was no coincidence. He has given the group a big boost and he leads by example.

“He returned from injury a couple of weeks ago, but he ended up hurting his ankle in training.

“But he’s recovered from that knock-back and he looked like he had never been away against Chester. He was a big miss, but now he is back and raring to go.”

That draw with Chester saw Telford bounce back from a 5-0 FA Trophy thrashing at the hands of Leamington.

And for Trainer the clean sheet was just the tonic as they prepare to host Alfreton today.

He said: “Everything is really positive after the game at the weekend.

“To get a point at promotion chasing Chester has given us a real boost going into this festive period.

“We are really looking forward to the upcoming games. It was very important to get that clean sheet.“They have been hard to come by and that was a big one at Chester. Hopefully we can kick on and pick up a few more in the rest of this season.”

Gavin Cowan’s side face Alfreton again on New Year’s Day after sandwiching in an away day at Gloucester in-between this Saturday.

Alfreton are two points above 15th-placed Telford and Trainer wants to see a ruthless edge this festive period.

He said: “Alfreton were doing well early in the season and I have no doubt it will be a stern test.

“We face them twice in quick succession and I think the second game will be tougher as we will have figured each other out.

“Hopefully the lads can reproduce that performance at Chester with a bit more of a ruthless edge.

“We created chances but we can be more clinical going forward.”

Riccardo Calder is suspended for today’s game with Ryan Barnett set to miss Saturday’s game with Gloucester due to his red at Chester.

Trainer said: “It will be a big miss but whoever will come in has an opportunity to stake a claim.

“If they take it then hopefully we will have enhanced competition in the squad.”

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