CHIPPENHAM Town chief Nathan Rudge says that defender Mani Randhawa is still some time away from making his long-awaited return to action with the Bluebirds.

The former Calne Town man impressed in his first season at Hardenhuish Park but has yet to feature for Chippenham this campaign as he continues his recovery from a pelvic injury.

Randhawa, who was an unused substitute in the Bluebirds 3-0 win over AFC Totton at the end of last month, has been getting minutes on the pitch at Toolstation League outfit Longwell Green Sports but Rudge is keen to see the defender finally make his first appearance of the season in the blue of Chippenham sooner rather than later.

“Mani was diagnosed with this groin and pelvic problem but that was eight months ago and with all due respect, some players come back from a broken leg quicker than that,” said Rudge.

“He’s training with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays but you’ve got to put in the work in your own time on top of that in this league, you’ve got to be mentally prepared too.

“He did get man of the match for Longwell Green last weekend but I want to see him getting man of the match in our league.

"I may be being a bit harsh on him but it’s because Mani’s an honest lad and a big part of our future here.

“He’s still a bit away from being ready but hopefully he works hard and can be back playing for us soon.”