A strange, unfamiliar sensation is befalling Chesterfield fans this afternoon as for the first time in a long time, good news has come out of the Proact Stadium.
Jack Lester was an upbeat figure as he met with members of the media to preview tomorrow’s hugely important game at home to Swindon Town.
The manager came armed with team news to gladden any Spireites heart.
There were no new injuries to report.
And experienced players returning to training and pushing to be in contention has buoyed the manager and will presumably do the same for the club’s fanbase.
The likes of Drew Talbot (hamstring), Louis Dodds (calf) and Giles Coke (hamstring) will soon be back in action, according to the boss.
“A lot of the injured lads are really pushing to get back and play their part,” he said.
“We’ve had a number joining back in at the back end of this week, it’s fantastic, it’s what we need.
“George (Smith) will have an in-house game on Tuesday, he needs some football, he hasn’t played since December.
“He’s fit, not injured anymore.
“(Louis) Dodds joined in today, Zavon (Hines) has trained a little bit today, Jordan Sinnott is probably going to join in next week.
“Giles Coke has done a little bit today, the game will be too early for him tomorrow but I’m hoping next week we’ll get a full week’s training into him.
“There’s a number of players pushing for a place and wanting to get back in.
“We’re getting some experience back in the team and that’s exactly what we need.”
It’s not just the presence of these experienced players on the training ground that has given the manager of League Two’s second bottom side a big lift.
It’s the fact that players aren’t shying away from selection – far from it, he says.
“They’re really pushing.
“The squad today had a good feel about it, there was a lot of numbers, players with a lot of games.
“No one is trying to avoid the situation.
“The amount of lads trying to put themselves forward to play when they’re probably not ready, is encouraging.
“I’ve been in situations like this before where one or two lads try and duck out of the game because they can’t handle the Saturday.
“That’s not happening here.”
Lester has recently spoken of his frustration at not being able to put the squad through their paces to the extent he would wish, due to weather-enforced conditions at the club’s training base.
This week he was thrilled to report that the players had indeed been worked very hard.
“I was really pleased this week that we got a really tough, tough day into them,” he said.
“They were right at it on Tuesday.
“And we got another session in the afternoon.
“We’ve trained really well this week, for a game we’re looking forward to.
“Swindon are a good side, but so are we.
“With a full squad of players we’re a good side and I expect us to be a good side tomorrow.”
The visit of the Robins brings former Spireite Marc Richards back to the Proact, where he played alongside Lester.
Richards has been in tremendous form since his January move to Swindon, scoring seven goals in eight games.
He’s a player Lester still admires.
“Great lad, I think he’s a good player,” said the Town manager.
“He’s good around the dressing room and still scoring goals.”