The game changer in Saturday’s come from behind friendly win against Burnley was undoubtedly striker Armand Gnanduillet.
The Frenchman, awarded another year at the club by Dean Saunders, showed just why his manager has faith in him with a stunning overhead bicycle kick to equalise and he then teed up Byron Harrison for a late winner.
Replacing first half scorer Jake Orrell after 50 minutes at the same time that quicksilver Gboly Ariyibi also joined the action, the pair’s speed, strength and sheer determination changed the game.
Gnanduillet said: “I came on and just did my job and the lads were great, so if I changed the game it was because my team mates were with me.”
The 23-year-old added: “We were all working hard together and we need to keep doing that throughout the season; if we do I think we can do great.”
Of his goal, a Proact Stadium classic that flew in off the post, he said: “I saw Tendayi [Darikwa] with the ball and sometimes he misses the cross so I just tried to take the ball in the area, adjust my body and get some power to the ball; it was a great cross and maybe I was lucky to get a goal, but a goal against a good team was great, everybody’s happy, not just me.”
To top off his fine display, the big man shot goalwards and the ball squeezed in at the far post. Gnanduillet celebrated, as did fellow sub Byron Harrison, many observers feeling the latter didn’t get a touch on the ball but both Saunders and the shooter said he did.
Gnanduillet concluded: “Byron said he touched it and that’s good enough for me, I’m happy to have assisted him, we won the game so everyone’s happy and I can’t wait for the season to start.”
Chesterfield are expected to field a strong team at Ilkeston tonight (7.45pm) as their pre-season programme continues.
Meanwhile, Hull City boss Steve Bruce has called Sam Clucas’ switch to the KC Stadium a “done deal.”
Clucas was expected to undergo a medical at City’s training camp in Austria yesterday.
Bruce, who is also keen on former Newcastle favourite Sam Clucas, will pay £1.3m for Clucas.
“Sam is hopefully also a done deal,” Bruce claimed. “Hopefully we’ll have him signed over the next 48 hours.”
“He’s having his medical.”