Ex Valiants hero turned Spireite could have part to play against former employers today

Jack Lester has dropped a hint that former Port Vale hero Louis Dodds might have a part to play against the Valiants today.

Friday, 30th March 2018, 9:30 am
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The 31-year-old attack minded midfielder played 332 games in an eight-year spell at Vale Park, scoring 56 goals.

He left them to move to Shrewsbury in July 2016 and in three games for the Shrews against his former employers, found the net twice.

The seemingly inevitable trend of scoring against an old club is something Chesterfield manager Lester has considered this week, with regards to Dodds and today’s fixture.

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But so too has Dodds’ inability to get a run in the side due to niggles.

“He’s come in and he’s had a couple of calf injuries, not really been able to sustain being on the training ground every day, which is what he needs,” said Lester.

“He hasn’t played loads of football this season but there’s signs of him getting sharper.

“We’ve very aware it’s his old team and sometimes people score against their old teams, it does happen.

“He’s looking sharper.”

Lester recalls his own desire to do well against former clubs, and believes there’s often a lot to think about before such games.

“Every player is different, it might bring nerves or expecation.

“I think you always wanted to impress your ex employers and ex team-mates.

“Sometimes you leave against your choice, but especially when it’s around the area where you live and you’ve got a lot of friends and family there, maybe a lot of people who maybe want to see you not do so well too and that might be your motivation, there’s a number of things going on.

“If I had to say one, I just think you’re familiar with a lot of people there and you want to show them how good you are.”

Whether or not players celebrate goals they score against old teams is a hotly debated topic in the sport.

On both occasions when Dodds found the net for the Shrews against Port Vale, he didn’t celebrate.

Lester says it’s a personal choice.

“It’s individual,” he said.

“When I first scored against Grimsby I didn’t celebrate because they gave me a chance and I always felt indebted to them.

“Making your mark in professional football is not easy and they gave me a chance.

“I did next time I scored.”

One player who is almost certain to start the game this afternoon is on-loan centre-half Sid Nelson, despite suffering a broken nose on Sunday in the win against Notts County.

The Millwall man has already had one nose operation this season, during a loan spell at Yeovil, but Lester has no concerns over the 22-year-old.

“He might need another op, it is broken,” said Lester.

“But he’ll be alright.”

Victory over Port Vale would take the second-bottom Spireites to within two points of today’s hosts, with two games in hand.

Neil Aspin’s side are without a win in 14 outings, but have lost just one of their last six games.