SPIREITES: Dean Saunders confident Chesterfield can disrupt Barnsley game plan

Hartlepool United vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders - Pic By James Williamson

Hartlepool United vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders - Pic By James Williamson

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Dean Saunders has the luxury of a fully fit squad as he prepares to take charge of Chesterfield in a competitive fixture for the first time.

The Spireites manager was in the final stages of deciding on a starting eleven on Thursday for the visit of near neighbours Barnsley to the Proact Stadium.

And believes whatever team he names for Saturday’s League One season opener will be ready to take to the field, after an encouraging pre-season schedule.

Five wins from a possible six has helped to breed confidence in the Chesterfield camp and Saunders is hopeful they can continue that in to the new season.

He said: “I don’t know what Barnsley are going to do tomorrow. We’ve got to set up our team to play how we want to play and they will have to adjust to what we’re doing and concentrate on that.

“Players are fit, they look really sharp and they can’t wait for the game. We have ten games in a short space of time and it would be nice to get a good start and get some points in the bag.

“They’re a good side and been looking to sign a few players. We have to go and match them, show some desire and whatever they throw at us we’ve got to have the answers.”

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake looks set to lead the Chesterfield line and is one of few additions to the Spireites ranks this summer, after the departures of four key players.

“The players are well drilled,” said Saunders. “We’ve got five defenders, so we’re maybe a bit short there, we’re a bit short in midfield and we could probably add at the other end of the pitch as well.

“They all know each other though. The midfield all know the back four so they’re all groved in the way they play. We’ve worked on a few things to improve on what we’ve done in the past.”

He added: “We’ve got a plan with the ball and a plan without it. I’m only interested in what we do and what we practice in training will get us a result, if we don’t do it then that’s when we change.”