Chesterfield boss John Sheridan pondering formation change for trip to AFC Fylde and could Anthony Spyrou be given his first start for the club?

Anthony Spyrou could be in line for his first start for Chesterfield against AFC Fylde tomorrow night.
Anthony Spyrou could be in line for his first start for Chesterfield against AFC Fylde tomorrow night.

Chesterfield manager John Sheridan is pondering a formation change and possibly giving on loan Norwich City striker Anthony Spyrou his first start of the season against AFC Fylde tomorrow night.

The Spireites travel to Lancashire on the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Eastleigh on Saturday and sit third bottom of the National League with just two wins all season.

Sheridan has mainly opted for a 3-5-2 formation so far this campaign which has resulted in little success with the Spireites shipping 27 goals in 15 matches - the joint third worst in the division.

When asked about a possible formation change, goalkeeping coach Mark Crossley, speaking at a pre-match press conference today, said: "It (3-5-2) is the manager's preferred formation but we have also got to acknowledge that playing three at the back we are conceding too many goals.

"Do we switch back to a four? We have spoken about it, we have been through it. I am not going to give too much away for tomorrow night but it is a possibility that we could go back to a four even though our preferred formation is a three."

Sheridan will still be without left-backs David Buchanan and Laurence Maguire but central defender Anthony Gerrard is back in contention and it appears Spyrou could be given his first start for the club since joining on a season loan from Premier League Norwich City.

On Spyrou, Crossley said: "He is contention for a start which is really, really pleasing cause he has looked really, really sharp in training."

And on Gerrard returning, he added: "He is contention for tomorrow. He has trained all week so there is a possibility that he could be a starter."

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Striker Tom Denton has scored two goals in four starts since returning from a knee injury.

However, the 30-year-old said last week that he still feels soreness in his knee at the start of a week after a Saturday game.

Given that he clearly needs to be carefully managed it might not be too much of a surprise if he is among the substitutes at AFC Fylde.

Crossley said: "I don't want to give too much away (would he be starting or on the bench). Obviously he had a bad injury. We have tried to protect him a little bit in training as well without him doing too much and trying to get his recovery more important than anything. He is in contention to play."

Midfielders Jonathan Smith and Robbie Weir have been left out of the matchday squad in recent weeks following last month's 4-0 thrashing at Sutton United.

So could the pair find themselves back in contention for tomorrow night or the Wrexham game next week?

"Yes, they could," Crossley said. "We have not told the players the team today at present.

"I think it is something that they are going to go home and think about it which we want them to do. It is done for a reason.

"We want them to go home and think 'will I play tomorrow?' and 'am I going to get in the team?'

"He (Sheridan) has told every single player to expect that they are going to play tomorrow."

AFC Fylde, who were defeated by Salford City in the play-off final last season, are 19th in the National League with just four more points than Chesterfield and they have lost their last three.

Crossley hopes that Town can capitalise on Fylde's poor form and claim their first away win of the season.

Crossley added: "We have worked this morning and Monday would normally be a kind of lighter day but we are trying to get the lads at it and in people's faces because that is what we are going to have to do at Fylde who were excellent last season and they are in a pretty similar position to us this season and they would expect to be a lot higher up the table and they are not so they are finding it tough as well. It is going to be a battle tomorrow night. Whoever battles hardest will probably come out on top.

"We are frustrated. Everybody at the football club is frustrated. The players are frustrated. We are frustrated as staff and most importantly the supporters are frustrated. We understand that and they have a right to be.

"We have to put it right and there is only one way we can put it right. It is to keep working and that is what we are doing."