Crossley: Saunders sacking wasn’t right, settled management team vital at Proact

FC United vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders and Mark Crossley - Pic By James Williamson
FC United vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders and Mark Crossley - Pic By James Williamson
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A settled management team will help Chesterfield improve on last season’s League One performance, says former coach Mark Crossley.

The man recently installed as Notts County’s assistant manager had two stints as goalkeeping coach for the Spireites.

And having watched on disapprovingly as Chesterfield sacked Dean Saunders last season, Crossley suggests that avoiding upheaval will stand the club in good stead.

“They need to strengthen,” he said. “They need a settled management team.

“I’ve been twice around at Chesterfield but the second time was a difficult season.

“Dean asked me to go back but it didn’t quite work out for him.

“I wish he would have been given a little bit longer, but it wasn’t to be.

“The fans dictated that, they weren’t happy and the club made the decision after only 20 games.

“I didn’t agree with that, I didn’t think it was right.”

Crossley admits Saunders’ departure was a scenario little different to that seen at many other clubs lately, but he still doesn’t approve of the sacking culture in the game.

“It’s results based, but 46 managers got the sack last season and that’s bizarre,” he said.

“I don’t get that about football at the moment.

“That’s just the way it is, but I felt a bit sorry for Dean.”

The former Welsh international, who has linked up with ex Spireites boss John Sheridan at Meadow Lane, is a big fan of the men currently in the dugout at the Proact.

“Danny came in and did a brilliant job, Chris Morgan is a very, very good young coach, Ritchie Humphries has been promoted and he knows the club inside out, they have a fantastic fitness coach,” he said.

He’s also fond of the men upstairs and thinks the club’s owner should be viewed in a more favourable light by supporters.

“Chris Turner has always tried to help the manager, and he was brilliant with me when I decided to leave,” he said.

“And the chairman - despite what people say - look at the club since he came in.

“They moved to a new ground, they’ve been to Wembley twice, won two promotions. We’re talking about Chesterfield, that’s amazing.

“It needs to be appreciated a little bit more and then maybe the club can move forward again.”

In his two spells as a Spireite, Crossley has enjoyed the support of the club’s fanbase as a player, coach and caretaker manager.

The 47-year-old paid tribute to those who keep showing up, even in the lean times.

“I got on really well with the fans.

“I tried to get about into the community, something I will always do.

“At the end of the day they pay their money and as players and staff we have to respect that.

“The away support was fantastic, really, really good for a small club like Chesterfield.

“And at home they kept turning out in numbers every game.

“When I first came we were struggling at Saltergate, the club has moved forward and I’m pleased it has, I wish them all the best.”