Chesterfield chief executive Chris Turner believes the next week could have a big impact on the Spireites’ hopes of claiming one of two play-off spots he says are up for grabs in League One.
A rare blank weekend for Chesterfield, following Bradford City’s continued involvement in this season’s FA Cup, meant all those of a blue persuasion were watching the scores come in on a Saturday afternoon that saw both Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers, in fifth and sixth respectively, both fail to win.
There are two play-off spots to be fought forChris Turner, Spireites chief executive
The Spireites are back in action this coming Saturday (March 14) against Coventry City in the first of two home games, with Gillingham visiting the Proact Stadium on Tuesday (March 17), and Turner reckons there is no place like home to continue their assault on the play-offs with 12 games to go.
He said: “The next week is an opportunity for us to kick on before the run-in. It’s so tight, there are a number of clubs now in good positions. If you can put a string of results together then with any luck we’ll be up there.
“There are two spots there to be fought for and we’re in the running. It’s not going to be easy, no-one is saying it will be, this is a very tough league. We’re in good company among some big clubs. Barnsley are the latest to challenge.”
The Tykes, under new manager Lee Johnson, were the biggest movers - from tenth to seventh - after success over Walsall. Chesterfield still have to travel to Oakwell, along with trips to Yeovil Town and play-off hopefuls Peterborough United, Bradford City, Oldham Athletic and Sheffield United in the final quarter of the campaign.
But it is at the Proact, with Walsall, Crewe Alexandra, Colchester United and Bristol City on the horizon, beyond the double-header of home fixtures where the Spireites have been strongest - with an average crowd of close to 7,000 - and Turner has called on the supporters to push the players on as they have home and away all season.
“It’ll be a very interesting final quarter of the season and we are in there,” he said. “I believe the fixtures play a massive part and it will be no different at this stage of the season, we have two home games and six points to play for.
“Six points this week over Coventry and Gillingham would put us in a strong position with little over a month to go. We play with great consistency, this is the best and strongest football I have seen played.”
The Spireites will be without the suspended Sam Morsy for Coventry and Gillingham. After a run of four defeats, victories over Fleetwood Town and MK Dons have elevated Chesterfield to the cusp of the play-offs, just two points behind Doncaster, with a game in hand.
“Paul (Cook, manager) had to change the style to accommodate the heavy pitches and the bad weather over winter,” he said. “Now we’re back to the passing football and we won two games back-to-back, we’re up there.
“The performances we have seen are fantastic, the football we have played is a great credit to the club. We have some good players here and it’s good to watch. We will have our blips but for the majority we have done very well.”