Chesterfield first team coach Kevin Lynch believes Sam Clucas’ versatility is of great benefit to the club in the run-in, as the Spireites eye a League One play-off spot.
Former Mansfield Town man, Clucas, 24, filled a lone front man role on Tuesday night and justified his selection with a brace of goals against Gillingham to inspire a 3-0 win for Chesterfield.
‘We needed to start with a real tempo and did that’Kevin Lynch, Spireites first team coach
He also had a hand in Jay O’Shea’s goal with an old fashioned centre forward’s flick on in what turned out to be a fruitful selection choice by the Spireites, following Caolan Lavery’s return to parent club Sheffield Wednesday.
“We always knew Clucas’ pace would cause them problems and he deserves full credit,” said Lynch. “We know he can play in numerous positions, he’s been playing at left back but we always knew he could score goals.
“The manager knows his players and we knew he wouldn’t look out of place up top and he proved that tonight. He gives us a lot of versatility down the side or up top, he’s got to adapt to what we want him to do.
“He’s led the line very well, he’s stretched the game to enable people like Jay O’Shea to get on the ball. It’s not one true position that he’s got, it’s more of a benefit to us that he can play in numerous positions.”
The win elevated the Spireites up to eighth, three points off sixth-placed Barnsley with a game in hand over their play-off rivals, and Lynch thought the players delivered the perfect response after Saturday’s defeat to Coventry.
“I thought Coventry stifled us a lot and came to spoil the game but fair play to Gillingham, they’re a bright team with a very bright manager. They’ve come to have a go and that’s what’s made it more of a spectacle,” he said.
“Goals always change games and when we scored so early Gillingham had to come out at us. We said from the outset that we need to start the game with a real tempo and go after Gillingham and that’s what they did.”
Lavery’s departure paved the way for Coventry to recall Drew Talbot from his loan spell at Plymouth Argyle and the striker turned defender didn’t look out of place at left-back, playing the full 90 minutes at the Proact.
Lynch added: “He’s been out for a long time and we needed to get him up to speed to how we play and the pace to how we look to have our players. We’ve had him watched and he’s come in and done a marvellous job. He’s a true professional and looked after himself very well.”