Spireites: ‘We need to be more shrewd up top,’ says Roberts

Gary Roberts puts the ball over 'keeper Ryan Clarke and into the net to seal the win for Chesterfield by Tina Jenner Chesterfield v Oxford United
Gary Roberts puts the ball over 'keeper Ryan Clarke and into the net to seal the win for Chesterfield by Tina Jenner Chesterfield v Oxford United

Promotion-chasing Chesterfield need to be a bit more shrewd in the final third of the pitch.

That’s the message from winger Gary Roberts following the Spireites’ goalless draw at Mansfield Town in the derby on Saturday.

Roberts, the League Two Player of the Year, said the players shouldn’t be too down-beat with a point on the road at Field Mill.

But underlined the importance of three points from Tuesday night’s encounter with Morecambe at the Proact Stadium.

He said: “Your home games should be your bread and butter. Games like against Mansfield you’re up against teams battling.

“They don’t really come out much, teams who play us. The tend to dig in and make it hard but we’ve got to be better than that.

“We’ve got to be a bit more shrewd up front, a little bit more guile and a bit more quality at the top end of the pitch and we’ll be all right.”

Chesterfield chalked up more chances than their rivals but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Stags defence and keeper Alan Marriott.

Their hard work was almost undone in injury time when Ollie Palmer saw sight of goal only to place his shot wide of Tommy Lee’s post.

“We came to win the game but looking round at the pitch it didn’t suit us,” said Roberts. “We didn’t get our passing game going and if you can’t pass you’ve got to battle.

“The boys dug in and I thought a draw was probably a fair result. If we had scored that goal maybe things would have been a bit different, maybe controlled the game a bit more.

“They had a couple of good chances at the end there, not through good play, but through hustle and bustle. We knew what to expect from the first game.

“They’re big, physical and try to get the ball into the box. It was always going to be tough, we were never going to come and pass them off the park.

“We didn’t want to get beaten in front of our supporters so we’ll take a point. We can’t get too down with a point away from home against your rivals.

“They weren’t going to lie down and let us beat them. We just didn’t have enough guile and quality in front of goal, myself included, we didn’t have enough to break them down.”