Raglan senses ‘buzz’ for Spireites ahead of derby triple header

Chesterfield vs Port Vale - Charlie Raglan pressures Sam Kelly of Port Vale - Pic By James Williamson

Chesterfield vs Port Vale - Charlie Raglan pressures Sam Kelly of Port Vale - Pic By James Williamson

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Charlie Raglan says there has been a buzz in training this week, as Chesterfield eye three derby games in quick succession.

The Spireites travel to Barnsley on Saturday, a week before Sheffield United are the visitors to the Proact, followed three days later by Doncaster Rovers.

Nearing the end of his second full season as a professional, defender Raglan is looking forward to games that will mean a lot to everyone involved, on the pitch and off it.

“I know from my experience last year, I made my debut at Doncaster away, I know what it’s about,” he said.

“I’ve played at Oakwell and I’ve seen the Sheffield United games, I know they will be intense.

“I think you could sense it this week in the dressing room and at training, it’s been mentioned a few times.

“We have lads who live in these towns and cities, who have played for these clubs, there are links from our manager and assistant, other staff members.

“And the fans are going to be up for it massively.”

Raglan has just returned to first team action after undergoing a hernia operation, and filled in at right-back in the 4-2 win over Port Vale.

It’s a relatively new position for the 22-year-old, but having drawn on the expertise of those around him, he was satisfied with his performance.

“It takes time to get your bearings, but apart from the second goal when I should have done better, I think I did okay,” he said.

“You get a lot of advice from all sides really, from more experienced lads like Drew Talbot and Liam O’Neil who has been playing there, coaches like Chris Morgan who spent his whole career at the back – it’s the little things that can stick in your head when you find yourself in certain situations on the pitch.”

The overriding emotion for Raglan as he left the pitch last Saturday was relief, Chesterfield having to come back from a goal down following a woeful first half.

“That’s the word, relief,” he said.

“We know the first half wasn’t good enough and we were told that in no uncertain terms at half-time, but we didn’t need to be told, we knew as players that we weren’t doing anything we wanted to do.

“The first half was a write off, but Gboly Ariyibi and Jay O’Shea came on and changed the game, and thankfully the result wasn’t too far away from us at 1-0 down.

“It sets us up nicely for the derby games.

“When you get down to the last few games of the season there’s things to play for, and all the teams we’re playing are fighting for something.”

It’s Raglan’s first experience of a relegation scrap, and he admits it’s a less enjoyable challenge than the one they faced last year, when promotion was the goal.

But he’s comforted by the fact that the Spireites’ fate is firmly in their own hands.

“You don’t realise at the time how good it is, fighting for the top positions and going for the play-offs,” he siad.

“It’s a different type of pressure, this is my first time fighting down at the bottom and it’s not a nice feeling, but it’s down to us now.

“We’ve spent the whole season in this situation, so it’s up to us to get ourselves out of it.”