After two games in as many days, the Spireites have begun well albeit against non-league opposition and Dean Saunders will no doubt be happy with his new squad’s pre-season campaign so far.
After attending the Matlock Town friendly on Thursday night it was evident from the first whistle that these players were up for playing and did not appear to be going through the motions with just less than a month before the big kick-off.
Players such as Sam Morsy, Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa have been rumoured to be linked with moves away from the Proact Stadium this summer.
But they seemed their usual selves with Clucas in particular causing a threat to the Gladiator’s defence. All of the players above will be crucial to any success next season and fingers crossed we won’t lose any of them.
New signing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake seems like he has the makings of a fans’ favourite. With strength and a great heading ability, as shown in the taking of his goal, he appears to be just what the Spireites were missing last season after Eoin Doyle moved to Cardiff City.
The side also appeared to be much fitter than previous years at the same stage of pre-season. This is due to the intense regime the team have been put through since coming back on the July 1, spearheaded by new strength and conditioning coach Mal Purchase who seems a very good recruit to the backroom staff on this showing.
Despite the positives, it was clear that there is an area that Saunders needs to strengthen before the Barnsley match.
A central midfielder alongside Sam Morsy is needed in my opinion in order for us to challenge for the play-offs. As much as I like Ollie Banks, I don’t think he is a direct replacement for Jimmy Ryan.
He may need half a season to get used to that position and in a play-off push you simply don’t have that amount of time. The trialist who set up Armand Gnanduillet’s goal on Thursday night appeared to be a similar player to Ryan and possibly a cheaper replacement, given the apparent relatively small budget that Saunders has on offer.
Overall I was very satisfied with the performance and hopeful of another successful season for the Blues.