After missing the last two games, Alun Armstrong makes a welcome return when Darlington visit Chorley, though the manager did not find his Saturdays on the sofa entirely problematic.

Club cameraman Kevin Luff arranged for the manager to view live streams of each of Quakers’ last two games, which Armstrong was unable to attend while recovering from emergency surgery on a strangulated hernia.

Darlington won each contest, beating Telford 3-0 and Hereford 1-0.

“I watched from home after Kev sent me a link,” explained Armstrong. “I was texting the staff on the bench about subs and what was good about it was I could watch the game with no distractions - at Blackwell, there’s a lot of people around the dugouts.

“And you can see a lot more from above, you get a better viewpoint.

“Don’t get me wrong, I was still stressed and shouting! There were a couple of the times the referee made some decisions last Saturday that were baffling - I saw Jim Provett having a go at the linesman at one point, it made me think it was probably for the best I wasn’t there or I’d have been sent off!”

Armstrong plans to be in the stand at Victory Park as he is currently unable to raise his voice, so will leave assistant manager Darren Holloway to convey messages to the players.

The two clean sheets Quakers kept against Telford and Hereford were their first in the league this season, new signing Danny Ellis immediately plugging a gap in the centre of defence.

“The impact Danny has made has proven what we’ve been saying since day one,” said Armstrong.

“It’s allowed us to play more attacking players, having someone solid at the back. We were having to play three in the midfield to compensate for not being great at the back, a safety net, we were being cautious.

“Look at the spine now: Danny, Will Hatfield and Jake Cassidy, three lads that know this league inside out. Physical lads who are loud and all have something about them.”

Ellis revealed this week in The Northern Echo that he has not yet signed a contract since arriving from Farsley, but Armstrong explained: “I’d noticed he hadn’t been playing at Farsley so I wanted to make sure he was fit, and he said ‘look Al, I’ll come and play to prove I’m fit and well’, and that’s what he did. I’ve told him we’ll get something sorted as soon as possible.”

Darlington are 12th and would be seventh with a win.

Chorley are sixth, unbeaten in five league games, and last weekend won 2-0 at Blyth.

“This will be a tough game because Chorley are doing well. They’re a big, physical side,” said Armstrong.

“They lost their first couple of games, but I’ve seen what they’ve got in the squad.

“But the way our lads are at the minute there’s no reason we can’t come away with something.”