Chesterfield captain Anthony Gerrard says a 'lot of soul-searching' needs to be done as Spireites aim to turn around winless run

Chesterfield captain Anthony Gerrard.
Chesterfield captain Anthony Gerrard.

Chesterfield captain Anthony Gerrard has admitted his performances have not been up to the standard he sets himself and says 'a lot of soul-searching' needs to be done by his teammates if they are to turn their poor form around.

The 33-year-old, who joined the Spireites in June, missed a large chunk of pre-season due to a hamstring injury.

His first appearance for the club came in the 2-2 draw at Barnet and he has started every game since.

Reflecting on how his time at the Proact has gone so far, he said: "I don't think I have nowhere near set the league alight but I think I am getting to some kind of foothold in where I want to be.

"That is me saying I have been nowhere the standard I set myself so people need to look at themselves hard and long in the mirror and ask themselves the same question. If it comes back as 'no' then that is a step in the right direction. If players look at themselves in the mirror and think 'I have been okay' basically they are lying to themselves, lying to the group and lying to the football club.

"I think there is a lot of soul-searching individually that has got to be done for us to progress and move forward."

On battling back from his hamstring injury, he added: "I am getting close game on game. I would like my performances to get to a higher standard.

"I have never had a hamstring injury. I did not realise how hard they were to overcome. I normally suffer with calf problems but hamstrings are different, you can't do any kind of running until it is fully healed so that happened in pre-season and I missed three weeks of running. It is a bit of a killer really."

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The centre-half was released by League Two Carlisle United after previously playing for Oldham Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City.

The aim this season for Chesterfield was to get promoted but so far the Spireites are winless in nine matches and are positioned in the National League relegation zone.

When asked if the players are currently letting down manager John Sheridan, he said: "Yeah, course. The manager sets us out with clear instructions. Not enough people have been doing their job as of late. Hopefully people wake up to it, people liven themselves up and hopefully we can start moving.

"As a collective the group know it has not been good enough.

"We have shown signs and glimpses of what we can produce but we are doing it in periods of 20 and 30 minutes.

"We need to address that situation and just play football and try and eradicate silly mistakes."

There have been some grumbles from the Spireites supporters this season after the disappointing start to the season.

But Gerrard says he is experienced enough to deal with it.

"They (the fans) pay their money, that gives them the right to vent how they want to vent," Gerrard said. "It does not really affect me, they can shout blue murder in my face it would not mean no jot, to be honest. I have had it since I was 18, I'm 33 now so I know why I play football and what I am capable of. I know what this group is capable of but at the present we are not producing."

The Spireites have been relegated twice in four seasons and Gerrard says it is down to the players to try and bring some pride back into the club.

Gerrard added: "There just seems to be a bit of a negative energy at the present and it is down to us, the players, to produce performances on the pitch to bring that little bit of positivity back to the Proact and Chesterfield Football Club."