The January transfer window is almost impossible to predict or prepare for when you’re Chesterfield.
Danny Wilson might not have had his strategy talk with the powers that be just yet, but he’s sure to have a list of players who he could chase, should any of his own be sold.
The manager, who is due to meet with the board next Monday, said after the Port Vale game that there were no irons in the fire, but he and his staff will be monitoring who is available and where they might fit in if needed.
While other clubs look to strengthen in January, bringing in the missing pieces of their puzzle, Chesterfield fans will be simply hoping and praying that their squad doesn’t get any weaker.
At times it already appears as if Wilson is being asked to take down a helicopter gunship with a peashooter.
So the idea that he could wake up on 1st February and have, for instance, less flair or attacking firepower at his command, is a worrying one.
At Port Vale and again on Monday against MK Dons, Chesterfield looked like a side bereft of confidence and creativity in the final third.
Only five teams have scored fewer goals in League One this season, a statistic exacerbated by their third-worst-in-the-league defensive record.
Chesterfield have failed to hit the net in just over a third of their games this term.
Take away the likes of Ched Evans or Jay O’Shea, two players likely to attract interest from other clubs, and scoring goals will get even harder.
Those two players have accounted for 40 per cent of Town’s entire goalscoring output so far this season.
It’s definitely the case that players returning from injury will boost the Spireites.
Tommy Lee, Dan Jones, Paul McGinn and Angel Martinez would be like a quartet of new signings, the latter two in particular because they’ve barely featured for the club yet.
But while Jones and McGinn might be expected to whip in crosses for others, neither are known for their goalscoring exploits from full-back.
Should Wilson be forced to part with Evans or O’Shea, he’ll have to produce a rabbit from his hat or hope that one of his bunch of young, unproven forwards can catch fire.
Or maybe Sylvan Ebanks-Blake will rediscover the form and hunger that brought him Championship goals.
When addressing potential player departures, the manager’s motto is always: “we’ll just have to get on with it,” and he’s right, there’s nothing else for it.
But good luck selling this club for anything like £15m if January leaves the side too weak to score the goals needed to survive the drop.
This January, no transfer news might be good news.