SPIREITES travel to Oxford tomorrow looking for their first competitive win in the City for more than 32 years.
A friendly win has been witnessed at the Kassam Stadium but you have to go back to September 1980 and Arthur Cox’s final match as Chesterfield manager to find the last win and that was at the Manor Ground.
Paul Cook will not be looking to tinker too much with the side that beat in-form Bristol Rovers 2-0 last week. However with just nine games left which just about all have to be won, he may be tempted to go for a more attacking option, through necessity.
Tendayi Darikwa got some minutes under his belt in the reserves this week and must be uppermost in the manager’s mind to start as the key assistor to the side this term. Drew Talbot too, recovered after a virus and not involved in the second string games must be hoping for the nod.
There are a number of certain starters due to their recent form. At the back, Neal Trotman, Liam Cooper and Nathan Smith will all be part of the line-up. Tommy Lee will be behind them.
It looks highly unlikely that the two Sam’s, Togwell and Hird, will be usurped from their central midfield role whilst Armand Gnanduillet, providing he doesn’t have a later recurrence of his troublesome abductor muscle issue will also be in the first eleven, as will be fellow scorer last weekend, Jay O’Shea.
That leaves three possibilities for change.
Right back Richards Brindley will be unlucky not to be included after a flawless return to the first team last week having been withdrawn after just 29 minutes of his previous game. Jack Lester’s presence is often worth it just to put the frighteners onto the opposition when the team sheets are issued.
He is likely to keep Marc Richards on the bench.
That means Talbot and Darikwa could well be competing with Conor Townsend for one spot in the team. Townsend has done well as a make shift left midfielder, his dead ball deliveries in particular are excellent. However his offensive play is not as developed as his two contenders, so he may have to make do with a place on the bench.
Chris Wilder’s Oxford have won five of their last seven games and are better placed than the visitors in the hunt for a top seven spot.