Humphreys warns Chesterfield must stop giving themselves a mountain to climb

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Ritchie Humphreys says Chesterfield must stop giving their opponents a head start if they are to remain among the elite on League One.

The experienced utility man returned from injury last Saturday as the Spireites went toe-to-toe with Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

It was his first appearance for five weeks and was disappointed to have been part of a defence which found themselves two down in half an hour.

Chesterfield made a fist of it thanks to goals from Sam Clucas and Eoin Doyle but were unable to find a way back like they had done at Preston.

Humphreys said: “We can’t keep giving ourselves mountains to climb. We probably had more chances at Doncaster than we did at Preston but we got the rub of the green against Preston and we get a result but we don’t against Doncaster, that’s the way it can go.

“There are things to eradicate; not putting yourself in to that position when you have to go gung-ho. We want to get back to being solid and hard to beat, not conceding many and obviously getting more than the opposition.”

The Spireites have been hit with defensive injuries to Dan Jones, Sam Hird and on loan centre-half Georg Margreitter in recent weeks. Jones and Margreitter are expected to be in contention for Saturday’s visit of Notts County and Humphreys believes a settled back line can only count in their favour.

“Any team would like a settled back four,” he said. “Not many chopping and changing all of a sudden, what’s happened to us over the past couple of weeks can happen to any team. You have to do what you can to get results.

“We have probably played as well as we had in any other games at Doncaster but the big difference being we’ve conceded the goals, so you do give yourself an uphill battle.

“We have come in and hit the ground running in this division, we’ve played some very good teams and we’ve got some very good results as well. We’re not panicking now because we’ve conceded a few goals.

“We do lots of work on the training ground to try and keep clean sheets because you always give yourself a chance when you do.”

And Humphreys was excited at the prospect of playing in another Derbyshire-Nottinghamshire derby on Saturday.

“Notts will come very organised, teams seem to be when they come here and play against us, which is a credit to us and the way we’ve played over the last 18 months,” he added.

“Teams tend to hit on the break but it’s up to us to break them down. We’ve got a good home record, teams sometimes change their style, but we know we’ve got a job to do and score goals for the supporters.

“The atmosphere will rub off on the players and it’s something we’re looking forward to.”