Tendayi Darikwa believes he is getting back to his best after making his first start for Chesterfield in over a month.
The 21-year-old winger returned to the first team in the 1-0 win over Oxford United on Saturday after four weeks on the sidelines recovering from a hernia operation.
He also started midweek in the disappointing defeat to Torquay United but hasn’t given up hope on the League Two play-offs.
Darikwa said: “It was good to go down and get the win to put us in good stead for Tuesday night but unfortunately we lost, which puts us in a very difficult position.
“We knew we had an opportunity to catch up with one or two other teams, we were expected to win the game but on the night we didn’t turn up.”
The Spireites sit eight points adrift of the play-offs with seven games of the season remaining.
“Mathematically it’s still possible, so we have to go on to the next game and try and win that,” he said.
“If we don’t get to the play-offs then it will have been a disappointing season. It does give you hope seeing the top teams lose, if we win our games and they slip up then it’s still possible.”
Darikwa’s last appearance for Chesterfield was in the 1-1 draw with Rochdale on February 2.
He went under the surgeon’s knife days after scooping the npower Football League Young Player of the Month award for December.
His return to the starting line-up came after substitute appearances at Cheltenham Town and at home to Bristol Rovers.
He added: “It was a big blow for me to miss out on a few games, but you’ve got to look after yourself. It was frustrating but it needed to be sorted. I’m back playing now and hopefully we can have a strong end to the season.
“Sitting in the stands is just not the place to be. Even on the bench, you want to be out there and playing football.
“I’m getting sharper everyday. I’m getting more minutes on the pitch and the more I get the better position I’ll be in to help the team.”
Chesterfield’s League Two clash with Plymouth Argyle, managed by former Spireites chief John Sheridan, was postponed due to heavy snow.