On Saturday at Swindon it was plain for all to see – Jack Lester has dramatically improved Chesterfield FC.
And should his methods continue to drag the best out of this ‘unbalanced’ squad, a midtable finish is possibile.
For the first time since September it’s looking more and more likely that the Spireites will still be in touch with safety at the end of 2017.
Between now and the new year, Town will take on three of the other sides in League Two’s bottom five.
All of those fixtures will take place at the Proact.
Nine points would go a long way towards lifting the Spireites off the bottom, or at least keeping that trio of rivals in touching distance.
Until recently, any talk of a run of wins seemed fanciful.
But the performance at Swindon proved twothings.
Firstly, this side can play really effective football going forward, particularly on the counter attack.
Lester has found a ‘home’ in the number 10 role for Andy Kellett and against Swindon he had his best showing as a Spireite.
Jak McCourt had hit the net just once in 49 professional outings before Lester came along – now he has three goals in seven games.
Louis Reed, with two assists, looked a different player.
One of the things Lester has spoken of extensively is his duty to make his Spireites better as individuals and whatever he’s doing appears to be working.
The second thing Chesterfield proved on Saturday was that there isn’t a gulf between the top teams and the bottom side in this division.
Swindon were a side bang in form going into Saturday’s clash and at times were made to look bang average by their visitors.
It was a performance that will have given Exeter plenty to think about ahead of this weekend and Forest Green Rovers know they’ve got a huge game on their hands next Tuesday.
Mansfield might not like to admit it, but the derby game on 25th isn’t looking as mouth watering as it perhaps did in the dark days before Lester.
Chesterfield have taken five points from a possible 12 in their last four, but there’s a strong case for arguing it chould and really should have been nine from 12.
That kind of form would mean a comfortable second half of the season – the worry beads would be back in the drawer by January.
If Lester can get results out of this squad, imagine what he could do with one of his own creation.