Cooler heads will prevail in League One dog fight

Oldham vs Chesterfield - Danny Wilson - Pic By James Williamson
Oldham vs Chesterfield - Danny Wilson - Pic By James Williamson
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Cooler heads will prevail in the League One relegation dog fight, says Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson.

The Spireites boss makes a return to Oakwell to face former employers Barnsley on Saturday.

It’s the first of three consecutive derby clashes for Chesterfield, who beat Port Vale last weekend to temporarily open up a five point gap on the drop zone.

Results in midweek saw that gap pulled back to two points.

But in stark contrast to the ever changing lower League One landscape, Wilson insists he remains unmoved by the dramatic swings of momentum in the race to survival.

He said: “If you had emotions and mood swings like a lot of people have, you’d be up and down like a fiddler’s elbow, we can’t afford to do that within the football club.

“We have to have some equilibrium in how we think. We can’t get carried away, one way or the other.

“That’s been my style, from my point of view I like to keep in control and keep focused on what we need to do. We’ve got a big game at the weekend.”

That big game will be contested without the likes of Liam O’Neil and Declan John, but Wilson may have left-sided Dion Donohue fit and ready for action.

Whatever line-up the manager puts on the field, he’s hoping to see the kind of performance that followed the break last Saturday, when they roared back from 1-0 down to beat Port Vale 4-2.

He said: “I didn’t take any confidence from the first 45 minutes.

“The second 45 was brilliant. If we can replicate that then we’ll be a match for anyone.

“We stuck in there and if you’re not playing well then that’s what you di, you stick in there, that’s the important thing.

“Physically there was nothing wrong with us. It’s about addressing certain things in between the ears.”

Both teams on Saturday will be under pressure to perform, but for different reasons.

Chesterfield want to stay in the division, Barnsley are eyeing an unlikely escape, having dragged themselves off the bottom in December with a remarkable run of form.

Wilson says his men are used to the intensity of life in the relegation battle, and wonders whether Barnsley might start to feel the weight of expectation that will have grown as a result of their resurgence.

“When pressure comes, it’s how you handle it.

“Expectation is a big thing at times. If it comes all of a sudden maybe that’s not a pressure they (Barnsley) have had so far.

“We’ve been under pressure from day one, that’s nothing new to us.

“A lot of times away from home this year we’ve handled that pressure very well, we’re hoping for a repeat of that.”

Addressing his team selection, Wilson was giving little away, especially in respect of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who was left out of the squad altogether last weekend.

Wilson said :”He’s trained all week. There’s no situation with him, I gave him a rest from the squad at the weekend.

“On Saturday the subs made the difference, whether or not we go with the same ones we’ll have to wait and see. Sylvan has trained all week and trained well.

“Jordan Slew has scored in almost every reserve game he’s played in. He’s great to have on the bench. But people have to understand that reserve team football is nothing like first team football.

“We’ll look at the squad and go with a team to get the best possible return.”