Chesterfield: Cook welcomes a selection dilemma ahead of big derby

Jay O'Shea
Jay O'Shea
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Paul Cook’s selection headache will be of the right sort this weekend.

With Sheffield United due at a sell-out Proact Stadium at Saturday lunch-time, the Spireites boss will have only long-termers Sam Hird (knee) and Drew Talbot (groin) missing.

Dan Jones is almost certain to return to left-back after missing the last two games and it will be a major surprise if fellow hamstring-sufferers Sam Morsy and Gary Roberts don’t get a starting spot.

One man who knows that there is major competition, particularly for the attacking midfield spots, is Jay O’Shea.

The Irishman has had a stop-start season with a couple of minor niggles that have kept him out of the side from time to time, but he did start against Notts County last week.

He said: “I’m happy to be back in the starting line-up. In pre-season I felt the fittest I’d ever been so it was frustrating to get the injury. I now feel back to 100 per cent and hope I can kick on. I also got some good minutes against Huddersfield and Doncaster so I’m getting fit again.”

Dan Gardner and Ollie Banks have had injury-blighted spells but both are fully fit now and both played a part against County. They too will be anxious for the team to be named. Banks started last time out but could lose out to Morsy while Gardner, lively after coming off the bench, is likely to be held in reserve.

Sam Clucas should revert to the left side of midfield after his spell at left-back, with Roberts playing centrally behind Eoin Doyle, leaving the right midfield slot as the hotly contested one.

O’Shea will probably win the race for that position.