Chesterfield defender 'really pleased' to get first assist of season after time out of team

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Jeff King says it has not been ‘easy’ finding himself out of the team this season.

The right-back has only started five of Chesterfield’s 14 games so far this campaign, which is not a situation he has been in before since joining from Halifax in June 2021.

Liam Mandeville and Ryheem Sheckleford have both played ahead of him at times but he has now started two of the last four matches, including the win against Bromley on Tuesday night.

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He told the DT: “It is not easy at times because I am probably so used to playing a lot of games each season but the quality in our squad is getting better and better. We have got two or three players in our squad for every position who can more than do a job. I have had to be patient and I would like to hope that I have done enough tonight to stay in the team for Saturday.

Jeff King got his first assist of the season against Bromley on Tuesday night.Jeff King got his first assist of the season against Bromley on Tuesday night.
Jeff King got his first assist of the season against Bromley on Tuesday night.

“The club has given us a great training ground and that is a real plus for us because the lads who are not in the team are getting extra sessions in and the coaches are putting on really good sessions which are match-related which means that when we are called upon we are ready to perform.”

King’s goals and assists stats have been some of the best in the National League for a couple of years so he was relieved to get his first creation of the campaign against the Ravens.

He said: “I am really, really happy. To get my first assist probably takes a little bit of pressure off myself because my numbers have been really high over the last two or three years and obviously I want to hit those figures again. I have probably not played as many minutes as I would like but our squad is really strong but to get the assist I am really happy.”

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In terms of the performance on Tuesday night, ‘Kingy’ rates it really highly.

He explained: “I thought it was our best performance of the season. We were in control and didn’t look in any danger. We had a game-plan and we stuck to it. Bromley are a really good side but we knew they would die towards the end because we were going to have that much possession and they did. Our quality shone through and we deserved the three points. I think it could have been a couple more.

“It is our first clean sheet at home which is really good. I feel like the lads who came into the team gave us a little bit of a freshness because it has been a really busy period for the lads who have played a lot of games. We had a bit more legs about us and there was nothing more to the game than us deserving to win.

“We knew they had threats and what their plan would be. The first thing I said in the changing room was that they will take points off the big teams because they are a really good side. They have a plan which is probably a bit different to most teams in this league and they are really good at it.”

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Chesterfield remain top of the table by three points and are unbeaten in nine, including eight wins, but they are not getting carried away.

“I think our feet are firmly on the ground because we know how relentless this division is,” King added. “Some of the lads who have dropped down have probably found that it is not an easy league to get out of. The quality is always getting better year in year out. It is still very early in the season. We have got a goal that we want to achieve, which will stay in-house, but our feet are firmly on the ground and we are taking it game-by-game and try to do the best that we can.”