Spireites: Chesterfield v Plymouth Argyle preview

Chesterfield v Rotherham United 'Chesterfield's John Sheridan

Chesterfield v Rotherham United 'Chesterfield's John Sheridan

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John Sheridan’s return to Chesterfield has been overshadowed by Jack Lester’s decision to depart at the end of the season.

But with the Spireites’ play-off hopes fading fast following Tuesday’s defeat to Torquay, current manager Paul Cook is eager to lift people’s spirits.

Chesterfield FC at Wembley v Swindon Town. John Sheridan with trophy

Chesterfield FC at Wembley v Swindon Town. John Sheridan with trophy

He said: “When you fail, you’re all part of it. If you don’t hurt there is something wrong with you.

“What we will try and do is come out of that very quickly. You can’t feel sorry for yourself. Tuesday’s defeat was painful. It was a big blow for everyone at the club, including myself.

“Looking ahead to the Plymouth game, the more we can win before the end of the season will keep spirits up and then the real work will start.”

Cook confirmed Nathan Smith has broken a bone in his foot and will be out for the rest of the season, while Armand Gnanduillet is still missing.

Chesterfield remain eight points adrift of the top seven, but while it’s still mathematically possible Cook said there is still hope.

“We will be competitive. The likelihood of us taking 21 points out of the remaining games is very slim but we will keep going,” he said.

Argyle, managed by former Spireites chief Sheridan, moved two points away from the drop zone with a 2-0 defeat of play-off chasing Southend in mid-week.

Cook added: “He has had some fantastic highs. A lot of managers won’t achieve that. I hope he gets a good reception on Saturday.”

Sheridan joined the club in 2009/10 season and achieved promotion from League Two the following year.

Chesterfield’s stay in League One only lasted 12 months before the club were relegated. The Spireites tasted Wembley success in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy under Sheridan’s guidance before a summer of turmoil led to his departure.