Chesterfield: Balancing act for Spireites boss Paul Coook as they wait on Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts

Paul Cook will be looking at his squad in a different light today.

With just one win in seven ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Walsall, the Spireites boss is worried about the balance of his side.

After bursting on to the League One scene in some style, Chesterfield have slipped to tenth in the table.

While the quality of the side’s attacking play remains good, a return of just one clean sheet to date is of concern.

Cook said: “The balance of our team isn’t right, out of possession it’s not right and defensively we’re not strong.

“We look like we’ve got a goal or two in us but we also look like we’re going to concede, and it’s something we’re going to look at and try to address.”

The immediate problem is there’s no room for manoeuvre in the backline.

With right-back Drew Talbot and centre-back Sam Hird on the long-term injury list, the only recognised defender with any meaningful experience not currently in the side is Ritchie Humphreys.

That means Cook may have to look to sacrifice some of the attacking flair that has earned so many plaudits so far, something many fans would be disappointed to see.

Cook will have to wait on Gary Roberts whose niggling hamstring forced him to miss the midweek defeat at Colchester United while a fully fit Dan Gardner looks a shoe-in to start after some excellent appearances from off the bench.

Dean Smith’s Saddlers lost 1-0 at Crawley Town despite dominating possession and the shot count. That was the team’s third straight defeat and they’re currently next to bottom of the table, their last league win coming at the end of last month, a 3-0 triumph over Doncaster Rovers.