Louis Dodds says he’s embarrassed by the way Chesterfield’s season has gone, but the players must remain professional for this weekend’s finale.
The attacker was brought in during the January transfer window but injury limited his game-time and left him struggling to get starts as the campaign neared its end.
Dodds and his fellow new recruits were unable to arrest the team’s slide towards an eventual relegation.
He feels the squad should have been good enough to escape the drop and suggests complacency, not urgency, gripped some players.
“I am (surprised), and I’m embarrassed as well, because we should have had more than enough to see us out of the situation we were in,” he said.
“In the end we’ve come a cropper and not taken the bull by the horns when we had those games in hand and by now we should have been in party mode.
“I think when we played those games against teams around us, the Grimsby and Port Vale games, they were huge games, massive. I don’t think some of us really grasped how important they were.
“When we had three games in hand everyone thought we have a bit of a cushion, we’ll win a couple of those at least, then they started ticking down and we were looking down the barrel.”
With relegation all but confirmed, Jack Lester and his management team departed the Proact, leaving caretaker boss Ian Evatt to lead the club through to the summer.
A 2-1 defeat at Wycombe was followed by Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Newport, a game in which Dodds provided an assist for the winner and came close to a goal of his own a couple of times.
He’s enjoyed Evatt’s short reign.
“Evo has come in and just said he’s seen me working hard in training, here’s your chance go and enjoy it.
“I think I’ve repaid him by working hard.
“He’s brought his people he likes round him and he’s good, I think it’s the most smiles I’ve seen on faces since I’ve been here.
“Today the lads didn’t want training to end because it was so enjoyable.
“Fair play to him, he had nothing to lose but he’s grasping it with both hands.”
One game stands between Town and the summer, this Saturday’s trip to Barnet.
The Bees are hopeful of pulling off what would be a miraculous escape from relegation, but need to beat Chesterfield and hope that Morecambe lose at Coventry.
Dodds says Evatt’s players must do their level best to pick up a result, not least for the integrity of the game.
“I think we owe it to the fans, I think we owe it to Evo and ourselves as well, we’ve not done ourselves justice.
“If we go down there and don’t do a professional job it’s poor on us as professionals and poor for Morecambe, they’re fighting for their lives.
“I think we’ll have to raise our game to counteract Barnet’s physicality and hopefully get the right result to end the season on.”