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Arnison aims to hit a home run
Paul Arnison has outlined his ten-point plan to make sure City enjoy a merry Christmas.
Three of the four festive games are at Valley Parade, starting with Chester tomorrow, and the defender believes it is vital that they cash in to stay in the thick of the promotion hunt.
With only three points separating the eight clubs beneath leaders Wycombe, there is little margin for error but Arnison is confident City can use the run of home games to their advantage.
Arnison said: “Hopefully we can come out of this period with at least another ten points and then we’ll be right up there. With three of the games at home, I think it’s a realistic target to look to win them all and get at least a draw at Lincoln.
“We know our home form needs to be better but with the team and squad we’ve got, we are good enough to push on and hopefully the results over Christmas will reflect that.
“We go into every game confident, especially here when we’ve got 12,000-13,000 fans behind us. They will lift us and hopefully we can make it a good Christmas period and head into January in a strong position.”
Last week’s sickening loss at Brentford was the right back’s first start since he limped off against Bournemouth at the end of September.
And while delighted to return to the fray, Arnison remains mystified that City left London empty-handed.
“The lads were absolutely gutted in the dressing room afterwards and, looking back now, it’s still difficult to take.
“It was totally frustrating because I thought there was only one team going to win. We looked rampant going forward, especially in the second half.
“The least we wanted was to come away with a draw. To not even take a point having played so well and created so many chances was massively disappointing.
“We will play worse than that this season and win. It’s a cliché but it’s true.”
Arnison had been restricted to just one fleeting appearance from the bench in the previous 14 games.
After recovering from a thigh injury, he found his way blocked by TJ Moncur.
It has been a tough time for the summer capture from Carlisle but he is aiming to make the right back spot his own again from now on.
He added: “Hopefully I’ve shown the manager what I can do and I’ll get a chance again.
“I was a bit shocked to get the call the day before Brentford but you’ve got to be ready. The conditions were heavy but I always enjoy playing whether it’s on a lovely pitch or a mud heap.
“It’s been pure frustration for me since I’ve been out of the side but you’ve got to bide your time, especially when the lads are doing well.
“I’ve just tried to work hard in training and playing in the reserve games. It is difficult but now I’ve got my chance again, I feel fine and hopefully I can help the team push on.”
City old boy Eddie Johnson could be in line for a Valley Parade return.
Johnson, who rejoined hometown club Chester earlier this season, has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury but hopes to be fit enough.
Midfielders Tony Dinning and David Mannix will not be involved after manager Mark Wright told the pair they could leave the club.
Wright’s ruthless approach has transformed Chester’s fortunes with two wins in three games, including only their second clean sheet of the season against Notts County last week.
Wright said: “From the first day that I got here until now I think we are a completely different side.
“The players don’t want to concede goals and our defenders have got to live or die with those situations.”
Chester were beaten three times by City last term and have not won at Valley Parade since 1972.