Spireites team talk: Chesterfield playmaker in contention for a return to action

Chesterfield v Rochdale.....Spirites Gary Roberts bursts through the Dale defence
Chesterfield v Rochdale.....Spirites Gary Roberts bursts through the Dale defence

Gary Roberts could make a return to the first team squad for the visit of Bury to the Proact Stadium on Saturday.

The Spireites forward has been sidelined for the past month with a hamstring injury sustained during the FA Cup defeat to Southend United on December 7.

Chesterfield v Rochdale.....Gary Roberts

Chesterfield v Rochdale.....Gary Roberts

But the influential 29-year-old has made a swift recovery and was hopeful of playing a part against Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town over the New Year period.

He picked up a dead leg midweek but the club are hopeful he will be available for the visit of Bury.

The weather halted Chesterfield’s progress, however, meaning the squad and Roberts have benefited from a week away from competition during one of the busiest times of the year.

The majority of the injured players - which stretched the squad during December - have made or are closing in on a return to action.

Marc Richards and Sam Morsy are both back in contention, while there was further positive news regarding Jimmy Ryan who went to see a specialist on Friday with a shoulder injury picked up in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Oldham Athletic.

Ryan completed 90 minutes against Long Eaton United in the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night, as did goalkeeper Aaron Chapman, who has returned from a knee injury.

Suspended central defenders Ian Evatt and Sam Hird are likely to be replaced by Liam Cooper and Matty Brown.

Bury have changed their manager from when Chesterfield ran out comfortable 2-0 winners on the opening day of the Football League campaign in the reverse fixture.

Former Barnsley boss David Flitcroft, who played for Bury during 2004-2006, took over the hot seat from Ronnie Jepson, who was placed in temporary charge, last month.

Kevin Blackwell, who oversaw the club’s relegation from League One against a backdrop of severe financial issues, left in October with the Shakers dangerously close to the drop zone.

But things have picked up recently under Flitcroft. Bury have collected nine points from their last six - the same amount as Chesterfield - and have moved four points clear of the bottom two.

With even more activity already having taken place during this transfer window, Bury have signed striker Daniel Nardiello from Rotherham United for the rest of the season.

Defender Pablo Mills signed for the club following his release from Rotherham.

Teams

Chesterfield X1 v Dagenham and Redbridge: Lee, Talbot, Humphreys, Banks, Evatt, Hird, Darikwa, Togwell, Gnanduillet, Richards, Doyle.

Bury X1 v Hartlepool United: Jensen; Burke, Veseli, Miller, Cameron, Hinds, Sedgwick, Proctor, Forrester, Nardiello, Mayor.