Spireites manager Paul Cook is sweating on the fitness of Gary Roberts and Jimmy Ryan before settling on his side to take on leaders Swindon Town.
Former Robins’ player Roberts has an ankle problem but his boss said: “It wouldn’t be Gary without some sort of a problem,” whilst he says of Ryan: “We’re managing his groin problem. The scan says it’s not a hernia but Jimmy feels some discomfort, but he’s looked sharp and he’s played off the front foot in the last couple of games when he’s come off the bench.”
Cook will be seeking revenge as his side lost 3-0 at home to Mark Cooper’s men in October, but the manager isn’t going to go to the County Ground in a cautious mood. “We’re going there to attack and we’re going there to win,” said Cook.
Sam Clucas, two goal scorer in the midweek cup game against Scunthorpe United that has earned a big pay day at Derby County in Round Four, will give Cook a dilemma.
He’s been starting at left-back of late but, for extra time, was pushed up with Dan Jones returning to the defensive spot. Clucas scored the two goals that saw off The Iron. “He’s (Clucas) been doing well at left back so I’ll have to decide what to do there but I want to put out a team at Swindon that will be full of pace and full of energy,” said Cook.
Swindon, with seven wins in their last nine games, are without key midfielders Massimo Luongo and Yaser Kasim, both on International duty in the Asian Championships for Australia and Iraq respectively.
However they didn’t seem to be missed as Swindon comfortably saw off Coventry City at the Ricoh on Monday night, with two goals in the 3-0 win coming from former Miller Andy Williams.
The attacking midfielder has scored 18 goals this season so the relative performance of him and Eoin Doyle is bound to lead to comparisons.
Williams has scored nine in his last eight appearances giving him the current edge in front of goal. Williams’ team mate Michael Smith, who had a brief spell playing for Cook at Accrington, has netted 13 this season.
For Spireites, Jones and Ryan apart, Dan Gardner and Jay O’Shea will be hoping for starting slots as Spireites try to break into the play-offs.