Chesterfield: Boss Cook debates changing his recipe

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook says he’s got his toughest selection headache of the season.

The Spireites boss has all of his players - barring long term absentees Sam Hird and Drew Talbot - available for the lunchtime showdown with Nigel Clough’s Blades.

The manager has options with the formation he plays, too, but the only part of the equation that looks unimpeachable is the defence. Tommy Lee will be protected by Tendayi Darikwa, skipper Ian Evatt, Georg Margreitter and fit again ex-Owl Dan Jones.

“Training has been very upbeat,” Cook said. “There’s been plenty of tackles flying in.”

Cook acknowledges that it’s clearly a big match for the supporters but, in his normal pragmatic, easy going style, added: “But there are only three points available, the same as any other match.”

It would be a major surprise if Sam Morsy doesn’t return to midfield alongside Jimmy Ryan whilst the form of Daniel Johnson makes him look to be a nailed on starter, as is striker Eoin Doyle. That leaves two slots to fill.

Meanwhile, the manager and his staff on the sidelines will all join in a minute’s applause eight minutes into the game to show solidarity for all-time record goalscorer Ernie Moss, who’s suffering from a rare form of dementia called Pick’s Disease.

The Chesterfield born former striker, 64, will be at the Blades match. It was against United, in 1980, that he scored his club record breaking goal and he also had his testimonial game against the Bramall Lane club in 1986.