Danny Wilson is surprised not to be pitting his wits against Sean O’Driscoll this weekend at the Proact.
The Chesterfield boss said O’Driscoll’s exit from Saturday’s visitors Walsall was ‘very strange’ but insisted Spireites would prepare for the best Saddlers side, rather than the one slipping down the form table.
“I was shocked at first. Very surprised,” he said of O’Driscoll’s sacking.
“I don’t know what it is, I’m not here to talk about other clubs and their policies, but when you see that you find it very strange, particularly when they’re having a very good season.
“I think it surprised everyone.”
Walsall might be winless in six, but Wilson expects a big response from the Saddlers players, after a turbulent week.
“The players have got to turn it around, and I’d expect a reaction,” he said.
“We’re preparing for that, not for a team who haven’t won in a few games.
“You see the team that’s third in the table.”
The Saddlers have impressed Chesterfield’s manager this season, recent results aside, and they remind him of two other League One rivals.
“They’re a very good side, albeit with a bit of a blip.
“They’ve got some terrific young footballers, always very well organised.
“Walsall are very similar to Crewe and Swindon in lots of ways. Although they’re young they’ve been together for a while.
“We’ll prepare for a very, very tough challenge and a team who are, on merit, near the top of the league.”
That’s not to say Chesterfield will be playing the role of underdogs on their own ground.
Wilson added: “We’ve got to make sure we take all the confidence from our last few games, we’re more than capable from matching anyone.
“We need to make sure we’re up for the challenge. These three points could be massive for us.
“Confidence has been buoyed by a very strong performance and a terrific result on Saturday at Southend.
“It’s unpredictable. I don’t know what the result will be, but we’ll be trying out best for three points because it’s very important.”
Should Spireites manage to maintain their current form, with no defeats in five games, they’ll no longer be looking over their shoulder nervously at the drop zone.
Wilson admits it’s a tough task putting together a run of positive results, in such a tight division, but that’s what’s necessary for Chesterfield.
“We’ve got to try and build on it. We needed it, you have to go on those runs if you’re going to get away from the area we’ve found ourselves in.
“It’s been very erratic this season for most teams, winning two or three and losing two or three, throughout the league.
It’s very difficult to put four or five wins together, but we’ve got to believe we can do it, and if we do we’ll get out of this situation quicker than we expected to.”