Chris O’Grady is muscling his way into the thoughts of Chesterfield manager Jack Lester.
The striker, reknowned for being a hold up man whose strength presents a big problem for defenders, has been singled out for praise by the boss for the way he performed on the training ground this week.
Lester says the 31-year-old former Sheffield Wednesday man has upped the ante.
“Chris O’Grady has probably trained the best I’ve seen this week,” said the manager.
“He’s got himself a lot, lot fitter.
“He wasn’t in bad shape at all, but he’s gone to a really good level.
“He’s in our thoughts a lot at the minute because of how he’s training.”
Many of O’Grady’s appearances this season have been as a substitute, but for him and the rest of those Town players trying to nail down a starting place, the festive period could prove fruitful.
Lester feels everyone has been given a fair shake since he took the reins, but hopes fringe players stay ready at Christmas because chances might come their way.
“I think everyone has been given a chance, it’s always been the case that how you train will pick the team,” he said.
“We’ve made changes based on training, everyone has had a chance.
“I’d say every player has played since we’ve been in and with this period of games coming, if we get through it with the same group of players we started I’d be surprised.
“Opportunities will come up for sure.
“With the quick turnaround it’s unlikely everyone will play 90 minutes then 90 minutes, so there will be opportunities and you’ve got to be prepared to play.
“You don’t know when that moment comes, that you might take and your career goes in a different direction.
“You’ve got to be positive and look for opportunities to grow.”