Chesterfield: Spireites boss happy to play the long game

Spireites boss Paul Cook

Spireites boss Paul Cook

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook says his players will need no extra words of encouragement ahead of Saturday’s top of the table clash with Fleetwood Town.

The Spireites travel to the north-west for the second time in quick succession after last weekend’s disappointing trip to Morecambe, rejuvenated by the mid-week win over rivals Mansfield Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Cook said his players fully understand the nature of the game at Highbury Stadium, against a Graham Alexander team that sit just one point behind them in the League Two table, but was eager to put the game in context.

He said: “It’s top versus second, the game speaks for itself, you shouldn’t have to motivate players for games like that. I think one of the pressures that Graham will have, alongside myself, is that we’re expected to deliver promotion winning teams.

“As the table stands now both teams will be quite happy with where they are in the league. We’ve been top for a couple of weeks but none of us are foolish enough to think that you’re promoted or you’re not promoted.

“There’s a long, long way to go. Saturday’s game doesn’t decide the league. Saturday’s game goes a long way in deciding what you can do and what you can’t do.”

Chesterfield welcome back Eoin Doyle to first team duties, while another two could return from injury.

Marc Richards, who has missed the last four with a thigh problem, and Ritchie Humphreys, who sat out the win at Field Mill with a potential hernia, could be back in contention.

Scans have revealed Armand Gnanduillet’s knee injury wasn’t as bad as first feared. The Ivorian under-21 international is expected to be out for weeks rather than months.

While, on the transfer-front, Cook played down reports linking Tendayi Darikwa with a move away from the Proact Stadium.