Five Chesterfield FC talking points as Spireites get ready to enter crucial period of season
After 19 games Chesterfield FC are positioned 18th in the National League, three points above the relegation zone and 10 points off the play-offs
In my opinion John Sheridan’s men are about to enter a crucial part of the season which will decide whether they will spend the second-half of the campaign struggling towards the bottom of the table or mounting a charge for the top seven.
Here are five talking points surrounding the Spireites at the moment...
The Blues have won four of their last six in the National League and have only lost one of their last seven excluding cup competitions.
The encouraging run has seen them climb out of the relegation zone and up to 18th.
Chesterfield are only behind Torquay United, Solihull Moors and Notts County in the form table.
However, the league is very tight and the Spireites will still be looking over their shoulder with the gap to the bottom four just three points.
On the flip side, the Spireites are 10 points off the play-offs, having played one game fewer.
The top seven are not out of Town's reach yet but the next aim for Chesterfield has to be to try and get among the teams in mid-table, who currently have six more points.
The Blues have to start by getting a win against bottom club Chorley on Saturday.
Boss Sheridan has finally settled on a formation and a line-up and it is paying off.
Early in the season he admitted he “tinkered” with the team too much as no one was standing out and making themselves undroppable.
There were several changes week-to-week and the Spireites were conceding almost two goals a game.
But since the win at AFC Fylde on October 8 Sheridan has kept with the 4-1-3-2 formation which has served them well.
The change to a back four has resulted in clean sheets away at Wrexham and at home to Notts County.
Having a holding midfielder in front of the defence has made them less wide open and given them more balance.
There are now some players in the team who, if fit, have to play, which was not the case at the start of the season.
The players are working harder and have shown their battling qualities in recent weeks.
Sheridan needs to stick with this formation now and not panic and tear it apart when they lose a match.
Competition for places
Sheridan has repeatedly said that he has lots of players to choose from and the competition for places will hot up even more now David Buchanan is back and Laurence Maguire is training again.
Midfielder Sam Wedgbury, who was performing very well before getting injured, should not be too far away, having being ruled out for four weeks with a calf strain last month.
When Wedgbury does return it will be interesting to see who misses out in midfield if he comes straight back into the starting line-up. Jonathan Smith and Curtis Weston have both been performing well but there will only be room for two of the three.
Buchanan and Maguire will be pushing young Jay Sheridan for the left-back spot while both can also do a job in midfield.
Boss Sheridan has a nice selection headache with his strikers as well. Mike Fondop is Chesterfield’s top scorer with eight goals while Scott Boden has seven. It is a tough choice who partners Tom Denton in attack but a welcome one to have.
The latest on the possible takeover of the club by a local consortium, as far I know, is that talks are still ongoing.
There has not been a public comment for a while but this does not mean that nothing is happening.
It is my opinion that both parties have decided to keep it that way until there is something concrete to announce.
A lot of fans will prefer it this way given that past takeover deals for the club have fallen through.
Many supporters have said 'I'll believe it when it happens' which I can understand.
If a takeover is to be completed I believe it could be around Christmas time but these things are never straight forward.
December could not really be any harder with games against Bromley (1st), Torquay United (5th), Solihull Moors (6th) and FC Halifax Town (3rd) so it is vital they rack up some points before next month so they can go into the last month of 2019 with momentum.
The Spireites should not fear the top teams, though. Results have shown that everyone beats each other and it was only a couple of weeks ago that Town beat Notts County who were in the in-form team in the league at the time.
If Chesterfield can pick up a healthy total of points from these matches then it will make for an exciting final few months of the season.