Danny’s presser round-up: Taylor-Fletcher may get deal, Dennis to get a chance, Lee and O’Neil progressing

Chesterfield v Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Checkatrade Trophy at the Proact on Tuesday August 30th 2016. Chesterfield player Kristian Dennis celebrates after scoring Chesterfield's 2nd goal. Photo: Chris Etchells
Chesterfield v Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Checkatrade Trophy at the Proact on Tuesday August 30th 2016. Chesterfield player Kristian Dennis celebrates after scoring Chesterfield's 2nd goal. Photo: Chris Etchells

Strikers were the hot topic in Danny Wilson’s weekly press conference today at the Proact.

Chesterfield’s manager discussed one veteran who is hoping to land himself a deal and an unproven talent hoping to break into the starting line-up.

He also revealed that two of his front men, Ched Evans and Connor Wilkinson, are both struggling with knocks and may not feature against Northampton on Saturday.

The veteran on trial with the Spireites is Gary Taylor-Fletcher, a man with vast experience and goals in every division up to the Premier League.

He featured for the reserves in midweek, scoring what Wilson described as typical striker’s goals, but there’s little chance of a deal being struck just yet.

Wilson said: “There’s no commitment on either side. He’s not been doing anything for the past few months and we’re taking a look at him.

“His pedigree and his background are excellent and he wants to get back on the horse.

“We’re giving him a vehicle to do that, a couple of reserve games.

“If he fits what we would like and more importantly, if we can afford it, then we’ll look to do something.

“Anyone who gives you goals will give you a chance of winning games.

“He’s had a terrific career, played at the highest level, got teams into play-offs with his goals.

“You don’t lose that knack, you might lose a bit of speed but between his ears is the main factor.

“He’s no where near the fitness levels our lads have got but we’re going to look at him again.”

Town’s manager added that, should they want to bring the 35-year-old in, they’ll need to make space in the squad or get their ‘begging bowl’ out.

Another frontman trying to catch Wilson’s eye is Kristian Dennis.

The 26-year-old was signed from non-league in the summer and has made six appearances off the bench, scoring against Wolves U23s in the EFL Trophy.

Wilson explained why Dennis hasn’t featured more prominently but also offered hope to the striker.

“Kristian has been unlucky really, he’s taken a bit of time to settle into the pace of what we need, particularly up the top,” he said.

“It’s something I noticed when he played at Macclesfield. He will work all day for you, but sometimes he has to work a little bit smarter and save his legs a bit.

“By the time he gets onto the ball sometimes he’s cream crackered. Overall he has to just work a bit smarter. But he’s learning that now and he’ll not be far away.

“In the next month or two he’ll be figuring, there’s no doubt about it.”

Young goalkeeper Ryan Fulton was in the press room before Wilson arrived to preview the Northampton game, and the manager said he’s happy to be patient with the 20-year-old, brought in to cover Tommy Lee’s injury absence.

“We knew there would be a teething problem at times, he’s a young kid in the firing line in the goalkeeping position, there’s no hiding place for them,” said Wilson.

“That’s why they grow very quickly and Ryan is doing that in my eyes.

“There will be mishaps but I’ve got loads of patience, I’m not worried about that.

“When he gets through these initial games I’m sure he’ll show exactly why we brought him in.

“He’s showing glimpses now, he’s getting more consistent in his positional play and starting attacks off.

“I think he’ll be fantastic for us.”

Although the short term injury front is looking bleak, with Wilson having to wait until Saturday before learning who will be available, there was good news on two of the long term absentees.

Addressing the post-surgery rehabilitation of Lee and the progress of defender Liam O’Neil, Wilson said: “They’ve done great, the pair of them are coming on leaps and bounds at the moment.

“Tommy has been on the training ground today, not done a great deal in fairness but at least he’s on the training ground with the lads.

“With Liam we hope and expect him to take some part in training next week, not with the players but on grass again and basically starting a pre-season programme if you like.”

As is now almost customary, there was one question that Wilson dealt with in a nonsense manner.

When it was suggested that Saturday’s visit of ex Spireite Marc Richards could be another case of the ‘curse of the returning striker’ Wilson replied only with: “Might be, who knows?”

Coming up tomorrow and Saturday in our Spireites online coverage: Ryan Fulton on soaking up advice from everywhere, a video flashback to a controversial past meeting of Chesterfield and the Cobblers, Danny Wilson talks discipline and Northampton’s hard nosed style.