Hard work has produced the clean sheets for Chesterfield says skipper

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Spireites’ skipper Ian Evatt says it’s easy to work out why the side have, at last, started to rack up the clean sheets.

The central defender said: “It’s down to hard work, we’ve all needed to up our game as we were conceding too many goals but looking a threat going the other way. It’s not just the back four, it’s the balance of the team. We were probably going a bit too gung-ho, especially away from home.

“We’ve tweaked a few things and Sam Morsy and Jimmy Ryan are a massive part of keeping clean sheets as well, we’ve done well in the last few weeks.”

The three consecutive clean sheets have all featured summer recruit from FC United of Manchester Charlie Raglan, who initially came in to cover a one-game Evatt ban and then stayed in after Georg Margreitter picked up a hamstring strain.

Evatt added: “It is hard, for large spells last season it was just me, Liam Cooper and Sam Hird and it’s difficult when you’re chopping and changing the back four week in, week out.

“It’s tough, but we’ve adapted well now and we’re just finding our feet again. We’ll keep working hard on the training ground and hopefully keep more clean sheets.”

Morsy will be missing from the weekend derby with Barnsley due to picking up a fifth booking in the goalless draw at Crewe. Manager Paul Cook doesn’t have a readymade replacement, so may have to juggle a little to sort.

Margreitter could return a little earlier than expected, so he could be considered for the holding midfield role, as could Raglan, if the Austrian should be brought back alongside Evatt in defence.

Ollie Banks has played in that position before, though his best spot is further forwards, whilst Ritchie Humphreys has also featured there occasionally.

One man back in the fray is Armand Gnanduillet, who has been recalled from his loan at Tranmere Rovers, where he got valuable minutes on the pitch.

Chesterfield’s U18 side will face Aston Villa at home in the third round of the FA Youth Cup after winning 4-1 at AFC Fylde in the last round.