They’ve sold two of their best players this season. And they accept they could lose their manager if they don’t go up.
Sometimes in football it’s best to keep it real and cut out all the pretence.
The result of that at a club just down the road from here has been pretty spectacular.
Expectations of a Chesterfield team just up from League Two barely stretched beyond survival when centre half and skipper Liam Cooper left for Leeds.
And a shock bid for the play-offs looked sabotaged in the eyes of some when prolific goalscorer Eoin Doyle was prised away by Cardiff. Not so. And now the next trick facing Dave Allen’s club could be replacing boss Paul Cook.
Chief executive Chris Turner concedes Cook could be lured to a bigger outfit if the Spireites are still in League One and says he’s “absolutely amazed” his manager has not been linked with more clubs.
Hang on now.
Anyone who mistakes this for defeatism is missing the point. It’s realism for clubs of Chesterfield’s size. Which makes their achievements all the greater.
With time on a contract reputedly worth £150,000 a season, making Cook expensive to buy out, Chesterfield have done all they can for now – except win promotion.
“I think being in the Championship with us would be a challenge for Paul,” says Turner, the former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper and manager doing an excellent job.