Danny Wilson discussed his newest professional, players on international duty, trialists and long term injury victims at today’s press conference.
The Spireites boss held court at the Proact to preview Saturday’s trip to Southend and the make up of his squad was high on the agenda.
He hopes to have Liam O’Neil and Dion Donohue fit and available, although question marks remain over the pair’s ability to go back into match action.
A trio of players have returned from international duty and it’s likely that Ryan Fulton and Connor Dimaio will both be fit and raring to go, although Liam Graham’s New Zealand double header has taken a toll.
The right-back played games against Mexico and USA and Wilson, a mwn with 24 international caps to his name, said: “We were keeping our fingers crossed that they didn’t come back injured, which they haven’t thankfully.
“It was a great experience for Liam but it’s a long journey, lots of travelling. We’ll have to see how quickly he recovers between now and Saturday.
“Generally you’re playing with higher quality players, with all due respect, and that gives you a real confidence boost.
“But it’s very mentally draining, it’s a big ask for players who haven’t played at that top level, it’s physically demanding. It sounds glamorous but when you peel it all back it’s quite tiring.”
The rest of the squad will be as expected, with Ched Evans and Paul McGinn still missing through injury.
Wilson is expecting a big improvement from the club’s last outing, an EFL Trophy defeat by Accrington Stanley.
“We couldn’t get away from the fact that if that was a league game it would have been a major problem for us,” he said.
“I hope it’s a one off. They can do a lot better, I expect a lot more from them.
“We have an improvement in training and there had to be. We were miles below par in that cup game.”
One player who will be desperate to be involved at Roots Hall on Saturday is Ricky German, undoubtedly buoyed by his new professional contract, the first of his career.
Wilson predicts it won’t be long before the 17-year-old is knocking on the door for a starting place.
“To offer him the professional contract does suggest we feel he has a lot of potential and hopefully make him into a regular first team player,” said the manager.
“He’s come on leaps and bounds in such a short space of time.
“We’ve seen a real upbeat young player in the training sessions, he’s growing in confidence every session we have and it won’t be long before he’s getting his start.
“We feel that his physicality is good, he’s got pace, he’s scoring goals in reserve games so his confidence is up.
“If we persevere with him he’ll get better and better.”
German featured in the reserve side who beat Rotherham United in midweek, along with a number of trialists.
Wilson says deals won’t be forthcoming for trialists Shaun Okojie and Josh Lelan, but Liverpool youngster Tom Brewitt might be a January loan acquisition.
Chesterfield will continue to run the eye over trialists, but the ‘one in, one out’ transfer policy remains in place according to the Town boss.
Wilson said: “The boys who are not committed to anyone are still something we need to look at.
“You’ve seen the problems we’ve had in recent weeks with injuries and should that happen again we want to be able to direct ourselves to someone who could come in and help straight away.
“We’ve had a variety of players from non-league to those who haven’t got contracts at other clubs.
“Some we can afford and some we can’t.
“(In midweek) they were there to have a look at to see if we can bring them on board, but unfortunately at this stage we can’t. We won’t stop looking.
“We want to get to January with as many points as possible on board and take a view on it then.”
While there’s good news over the fitness of goalkeeper Tommy Lee who is recovering well from shoulder surgery and hopes to join in full training in three weeks or so, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for Angel Martinez however.
The Spanish midfielder is still not close to a comeback from a serious knee injury and multiple operations.
“He’s not come back in training yet, he’s having another couple of weeks to try and get his knee strengthened and a bit more solid, if that’s the right word, so he can cope with the rigours of training,” said Wilson.
“We don’t feel at this moment in time he’s right, and while he’s not back to square one by any stretch, but he’s still no where near coming back into training yet.
“It will be in the new year I’d expect but when that will be I don’t know.”