Sam Hird believes League Two sides will not relish playing Chesterfield at the minute after a dramatic improvement in performances and results.
After a poor start to the season the Spireites made it five games unbeaten with today’s 2-2 derby day draw at Mansfield Town.
“Now we’re on our game, playing how we know we can play and we’re a match for anyone,” said the centre-half.
“We’re a force to be reckoned with at the minute.
“We’re confident, the lads know what’s expected of them and the way we’re playing at the minute I think we could beat anybody.
“I thought we were the better team today, I thought Exeter, who we beat, were the best team we’ve played yet.
“We’ve got some good points in the last few games.”
Town were shaded by the hosts in a first half that ended 1-1 but outplayed their in-form hosts after the interval and were only denied victory by an 88th minute equaliser.
Hird revealed what boss Jack Lester said at half-time to bring about an improvement.
“Before the game he said he wanted us to be up for it, fighting for everything but he wanted us to be calm.
“At half-time he actually came in and said we had probably been a bit too calm, raise the tempo, the intensity of what we’re doing and we’ll go and win the game.
“That’s what we thought we were going to do.
“It was a fiesty atmosphere, that’s what it’s like in derbies, but we’ve stood up to it to a man, dealt with what they’ve thrown at us and we’re just disappointed with that goal.
“On reflection, looking at the bigger picture things are on the up.”
And Lester’s pre-game focus was on preparing the squad for the derby, ensuring each player understood its significance.
Hird said: “Not everyone knows what it means to be in a derby.
“I’ve been here a long time so obviously I know what it means to the football club and the fans.
The gaffer did, saying that in the press and the changing room and letting everyone know what it meant, he had a little talk with the lads before the game.
“The lads gave everything today, left everything on the pitch and I know we deserved to win.”
There were over 1,600 Spireites int he crowd at Field Mill and Hird praised them for making themselves heard throughout the game and backing the side.
“The atmosphere was great, I think our fans made more noise than theirs, we could hear ours all the way through.
“They’ve been great all season, stuck with us and since the new manager came in they’ve got right behind us and can see what we’re trying to do.”