Chesterfield: Spireites gearing up for dates with play-off master Grayson

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson
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Chesterfield’s preparations for the two play-off games against Preston have begun.

Paul Cook’s managerial opponent, Simon Grayson, has known success in the play-offs on four occasions.

The North End boss twice won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs – both times with Leicester City – while as a manager he’s achieved success at Wembley with Blackpool and Huddersfield Town.

Spireites central defender Ian Evatt was a player of his during the Blackpool success while Gary Roberts scored in the successful Huddersfield Town penalty shoot-out in 2012.

So whole Preston as a club has failed to win promotion in all of its nine play-off attempts, Grayson – who saw his side drop out of the top two after two months in pole position following the loss at Colchester on Sunday – knows exactly what it takes.

The Lilywhites’ manager said: “We’ve got to pick ourselves up very quickly.

“We’ve emphasised to the players that we’ve now got a second opportunity to get promoted to the Championship.

“Preparations start on Tuesday, the games are on Thursday and then Sunday, so we know we haven’t got any time to wallow in self-pity or anything.

“We’ve got to be positive, we’ve got to be bright to go at Chesterfield, which will be a difficult game.

“We’ve still got a second opportunity to be promoted.”

Chesterfield have twice been in the play-offs and on both occasions won through to Wembley, losing against Cambridge United in 1990 in the first ever such final underneath the Twin Towers and beating Bury in 1995.

Spireites have also made it through to the newly developed Wembley twice in the JPT, beating potential play-off finalists Swindon Town in 2012 and losing to Peterborough United in 2014.

Tickets for Thursday’s match are selling well with another home full house looking likely as Spireites seek to step up to the Championship, a level they’ve not played at since 1951.