Dean takes his ban on the chin

STRIKER James Dean could have been forgiven for wanting to be as far away from the Shay as possible this weekend.

Town will entertain Charlton in the biggest game of the club’s recent history in the first round of the FA Cup.

Suspension means that Dean will be missing from the playing squad but he will be at the Shay to lead the support as Neil Aspin’s side look to produce a major shock.

“I have just got to take it on the chin, be a man about it and be there for the lads,” he said.

“It is a massive game for the club and by supporting the lads I can be part of it.

“The main thing is that we are at home and I can’t wait for the game to come round.”

Even when Dean was helping Town through to round one at Solihull he knew he would not be playing in playing in any potential first round tie.

He did not let that affect him, but once he sat down for the draw, the realisation of what he was going to miss started to sink in.

“When we were at Solihull I just wanted to help the team win the game,” he said.

“You don’t think about who you might get in the next round when you are playing.

“I sat there on the Sunday and could see the teams dwindling away with Charlton and Huddersfield still there.

“I thought it was going to happen - and it did.”

Dean’s absence will be doubly bad news for Aspin should Lee Gregory not win his race to recover from an injury sustained against Solihull.

That would leave Danny Holland, who has struggled for much of the season with hamstring trouble, and loan signing Jamie Rainford to carry the attacking burden against the Addicks.

“I think we should wrap him up in cotton wool until the game,” said Dean.

“He is on fire at the moment - everything he touches we get a goal from.

“But Danny can do a job no matter what - he has the brains and the experience.”

Dean has already served three matches for his red card after the final whistle in the comeback win at Guiseley in September.

He was handed a further six games on the sidelines for man handling the referee after he had been shown the red card.

“I thought I had learned my lesson last time I played in this division,” said Dean, who missed a dozen games through suspension as a Harrogate Town player. “It is just so frustrating.

“It wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d gripped him hard - I just put my hand on his arm.

“Obviously you can’t touch the referee and as soon as you do they say it is assault.”