DEFENDER Dan Preston remains open minded about a return to Hereford next season in spite of “unnecessary” criticism from boss Peter Beadle.

The centre-half joined Bromsgrove Sporting on dual registration earlier this month but got offered the chance of a recall a week later after a flu bug had decimated Beadle’s squad.

Preston opted to stick with Sporting, prompting Beadle to suggest his Bulls career was over but the ex-Telford and Tamworth man insists he has no axe to grind.

“I felt like I had been left in a tricky situation to be honest,” said Preston.

“Pete rang me on the Friday so it was short notice and I knew whatever I chose to do would be letting someone down.

“It was difficult for me. It had been agreed between Pete and Smudge (Bromsgrove manager Paul Smith) that the move would be until the end of the season.

“At the same time, seven Hereford lads were ill and I know Pete tried his best to bring in a young lad on loan. I had to pick one or the other and was left with an awkward decision.”

Asked about Beadle’s remarks, Preston replied: “I thought it was unnecessary, he didn’t get asked about it but brought it up himself.

"I was a bit disappointed with his comments but I wouldn’t knock him, he has helped me out a lot.

“I’d like to thank Pete and Hereford for giving me the opportunity. I had a good time there, it is a good club that is going places.”

On the prospect of playing for Hereford again, Preston said: “You never know what might happen in football but at the moment it seems unlikely.

“They are doing well enough anyway but who knows, we might talk again in the summer. Anything could happen and in the meantime I just want to get on with my football.”

The public way the situation has played out could spark interest from higher levels although Preston says he is content to stay at the Victoria Ground.

“At the moment I am dedicated to Bromsgrove,” he added. “There is the league and FA Vase to concentrate on and with plenty going on there is no reason for me to want to go anywhere at the minute."

“I have had my ups and downs with football lately and I just want to get my head down, enjoy it and get my fitness back. I have had so many niggles over the past season and a half so I want a good run of games, to feel comfortable and to take it game by game.”