Chesterfield: Spireites’ boss Cook sweating on trio’s fitness

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts

Paul Cook will have to wait until later today to determine whether three of his key men are fit to play tomorrow.

Former Blades’ man Shaun Derry and his Notts County side roll in to the Proact Stadium for a game Spireites are desperate to win, after picking up just one point in the last two games - both away, and both humdingers.

But Cook is sweating on the fitness of reigning League Two Player of the Year Gary Roberts, Spireites Player of the Year Sam Morsy and ex-Owl left-back Daniel Jones, who’ve all been suffering with minor hamstring strains.

“My decision’s not been made easy,” said Cook, who added: “All of the players say they’re fit and ready to play but (head of sports science) Rodger Wylde and (physio) Jamie Hewitt say they’re not ready.

“But they will be by the time Sheffield United come here next week.

“Gary Roberts has trained at full pelt for the last two days but he came back after a similar injury a couple of weeks ago and had to go off early on.”

Indeed it’s the early stages of matches that’s troubling the Chesterfield boss most at the moment, after falling 3-0 behind at Preston North End and being 2-0 down at Doncaster Rovers, both in the games’ opening third.

Cook’s attitude is that attacking is the best form of defence, so supporters can expect an early, all out attacking start from Spireites against a side that has trouble scoring but knows how to keep a clean sheet.

Austrian defender Georg Margreitter is fit after concussion and he’s expected to return alongside Ian Evatt in the heart of the defence. The manager also indicated that Jay O’Shea, a very effective sub in the last two games, will start.

Tommy Lee, Tendayi Darikwa, Jimmy Ryan and Eoin Doyle are four more certain starters, taking the known total to seven, but the remaining four slots are up for grabs, fitness excepting. Chasing those places in addition to the hamstring trio, are Ritchie Humphreys, Sam Clucas, Romy Boco, Armand Gnanduillet, Ian Banks and Dan Gardner indicating the positive selection headache the manager has.

Development squad player Myles Weston is expected to be on the bench as cover for goalkeeper Lee following Aaron Chapman’s loan move to Accrington Stanley.