Lee Vaughan says he cannot wait to return from his suspension against Portsmouth on Saturday.
The right-back has been forced to sit out Paul Buckle’s first three games as manager after his red card in the 4-1 home defeat by Wycombe Wanderers on November 22, which proved to be Mark Yates’ final match in charge.
“It’s been without a doubt the most frustrating suspension I’ve ever had,” Vaughan said.
“Initially I felt a bit of guilt and I felt awful the manager got the sack after that game because when people are good to me, I don’t like to let them down.
“Then the new manager comes in and I am not available, which is never a good start, but he has taken the time out to speak to me and he didn’t have to really because I’ve been no use to him for three weeks, so that’s been good.”
Buckle says he has been impressed with Vaughan’s attitude and workrate in training, describing him as an ‘energiser’.
Vaughan said: “I’ve had no choice but to try and impress him in training and work hard, but that’s just the way I am.
“I like to be happy around the place and I have the best job in the world so there is no reason for me not to be happy, apart from the results, which need to improve and that will come.”
Specialist central defender Jack Deaman has filled in at right-back during Vaughan’s absence, but the former Kidderminster Harriers man is expected to come back into the side against Portsmouth.
“If I come back into the side, then absolutely brilliant,” he said. “Jack has done really well, but I don’t think he's a right-back, he’s a good centre-half and a young lad who will keep improving and he’ll have a good career.
“He’s done well, so it’s definitely a decision that’s not easy for the manager to make.”
Of the challenge which led to his enforced lay-off, Vaughan said that on reflection he could have no complaints about the referee’s decision.
“Initially I didn’t think it was a sending off at all, but when you watch it back it’s clearly a red card,” he said.
“It was a case of the game not going our way, but maybe I was a bit frustrated.
“The ball was there to be won and I thought their lad was going in for the tackle, but he just nicked and I have been sent off.
“I cant argue with the decision when you look back it, but I’ll learn from it and I have certainly paid the price with this suspension being so long and the timing of it.
“My last sending off was about three years ago. I do like to play on the edge and be aggressive, so it’s just curbing it. I didn’t lose my head, it was just poorly timed.”
Vaughan said he has enjoyed working with Buckle on the training ground for the past three weeks.
“When you have a change in manager, the important thing is that it’s different and it’s certainly been different,” he said.
“I’ve been impressed with him, training has been good and he is clear in what he wants, both with how he wants you to play and how he wants you on and off the pitch. You definitely can’t say you don’t know what he wants from you.
“It’s been positive because we are fit and we are starting to look like a team that’s together so we have to turn that into results now.
“The wins will come, but he hasn’t got a magic wand and it takes time so we’ll keep working hard and it’ll come.
“All I want for Christmas is three points, just like the manager probably!”