Ritchie relishing visit of Sheffield United

Ritchie Humphreys continues his recovery from Injury
Ritchie Humphreys continues his recovery from Injury

Chesterfield’s Ritchie Humphreys says he’s relishing the visit of boyhood team Sheffield United to the Proact Stadium on Saturday, as the Spireites prepare for another derby day battle.

The 36-year-old, born in Sheffield, has fond memories of visiting Brammall Lane and fulfilled a childhood dream when he scored there in December 2012 - for Hartlepool United in a 3-2 win.

There will be little room for sentiment, however, and Humphreys, who signed professional forms with the Steel City’s blue half, has called on the home faithful to raise the roof on Saturday.

He said: “I spent many years going to Brammall Lane with my dad.

“I’ve seen them go from the fourth division all the way up to the Premier League when Harry Bassett was manager.

“I ended up playing for Wednesday but being a Sheffield boy I’ve got lots of friends on both sides of the city.

“I managed to score a goal against Sheffield United for Hartlepool at Brammall Lane so that was a boyhood dream ticked off even though it was not for them but at their ground.

“It’ll be a good game for me being a local boy but for us at Chesterfield it’s one we’re looking forward to.

“The atmosphere is always red hot, it’ll rub off on the players and it’s something we’re looking forward to.”

An inspirational display by former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll for Notts County held Chesterfield to a 1-1 draw last Saturday.

It was the fourth consecutive league game that saw the Spireites concede first - something the squad are keen to eradicate sooner rather than later.

“We want to get back to being solid and hard to beat, not conceding many and obviously getting more than the opposition,” said Humphreys.

“Any team would like a settled back four and not much chopping and changing all of a sudden, what’s happened to us over the past couple of weeks can happen to any team.”

Following the sale of Liam Cooper to Leeds United, Chesterfield have suffered injuries to defenders Sam Hird, Dan Jones, Georg Margreitter and Humphreys in recent weeks.

But, with injuries seemingly easing, Humphreys is keen for the Spireites to continue their encouraging start to the season.

“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.

“It’s not that we’re 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.

“I’ve been in teams before with a winning mentality and I’ve seen it from teams who have been promoted, there’s no fear from teams because they’re used to winning.

“They’ve obviously got good players to win a league no matter what league it is. It’s a tough league and one we want to compete in and do well,” he added.