Striker set to miss out on first Spireites’ start

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SPIREITES striker Armand Gnanduillet is doubtful to make his first start against Gillingham tomorrow.

The Frenchman has been suffering with an abductor muscle strain and hasn’t trained this week, so Jack Lester and Marc Richards could start up front. However Jay O’Shea, who normally plays just behind a front man, could be pushed forwards to partner Richards.

Manager Paul Cook has confirmed he’ll play two men in attack for both the Gillingham game and Tuesday’s home match with Aldershot.

Sam Hird misses both the next two games through suspension and Cook confirmed there will be more changes than that.

He said: “There’ll be changes, you can’t put up with performances like that at Rotherham. We’re at a club where the expectation levels are to win games regularly, so you can’t come away from games like that saying ‘everything’s alright.’

“The lads who go out against Gillingham will have to express themselves better than the team did last week.”

He added: “We’re mindful that there are two games in quick succession, so if we’re to get anywhere near the play-offs, we can’t afford to drop points. The next two are ‘must win’ games, we must get six points in the bag.” With skipper Hird out, Cook has said Liam Cooper will be captain. “He’s been an inspirational player since he came in.”

Cook is still on the look-out for a left winger but he’s not expecting anyone to be drafted in before Saturday.

Rookie right back Richard Brindley will be hoping for his first start, Drew Talbot could move forwards on to the right wing, whilst on loan from Hull City Conor Townsend is expected to start on the right.

Ever present Sam Togwell looks set to retain his holding midfield role, but who will play alongside him is a more difficult question. O’Shea could play there if he’s not used further upfield, but that would stifle some of his attacking prowess.

Cook said of the opponents: “They play direct football, it’ll not be a pretty, they don’t want to get involved in a passing game. We must stand up against them.”