Chesterfield: Mark Smith in temporary Spireites charge

Mark Smith
Mark Smith

Former Sheffield Wednesday player Mark Smith has been named as caretaker manager at Chesterfield following Dean Saunders’ departure.

The Spireites academy manager, who has held youth-team roles at both Hillsborough and Bramall Lane, will be assisted by coach Mark Crossley and director of decruitment Paul Mitchell.

Smith had a short spell as Owls caretaker boss in 2004, ironically after his current chief cxecutive, Chris Turner, had left the post.

He was also caretaker manager at Notts County before becoming Sam Allardyce’s assistant at Meadow Lane.

The 55- year-old has also held posts at Lincoln City, Ilkeston Town, alongside Nigel Jemson, and Barnsley before being recruited by the Spireites in May 2013.

Although Chesterfield chairman Dave Allen has indicated there’ll be no rushed appointment, bookmakers are not surprisingly quoting odds on a host of possibilities.

Former player and Chesterfield resident Danny Wilson is the early favourite.

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The one-time Owls, Blades and Barnsley boss is quoted at 11-4 by SkyBET with current Proact player Ritchie Humphreys second favourite at 5-1, although Smith’s temporary appointment suggests there are no legs in that possibility.

Nigel Clough, Paul Dickov, Mark Cooper and Lee Clark are obvious contenders while Alfreton Town boss and former Chesterfield skipper and manager Nicky law is a long shot at 33-1.

Former Blades striker Brian Deane, who’s been managing Sarpsborg 08 in Norway for the last two years, is a suggestion while ex-Proact hero Jack Lester, under-18s boss at Nottingham Forest and another Chesterfield legend, Kevin Davies, are being suggested.

However, it seems more than likely that Allen and Turner will opt for experience rather than potential.

In-work managers who play the type of football the club crave and could be considered include Rochdale boss Keith Hill and Exeter City’s Paul Tidsdale.

Spireites left-back Dan Jones broke his ankle in the weekend defeat against Swindon.

An X-ray confirmed a spiral fracture of the tibia which will sideline him for up to six months.