Gary Caldwell wants his side to defend with more aggression as they attempt to claw their way out of a desperate situation in League One.
Chesterfield are now 10 points from safety after Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Peterborough, a game that featured some woeful defending.
And the manager, no stranger to robust defending himself in his playing days, wants his side to be more ‘physical’ in the remaining eight games of the season.
Explaining where his side can improve defensively, he said the Spireites should take a leaf from a gritty FA Cup game earlier this week.
“I think we have to engage better as a team, when the ball goes into midfield or wide areas, we get out to people,” he said.
“Five yards isn’t close enough, we need to get in people’s faces.
“I showed them the Man United (versus Chelsea) game, that’s how you shut people down, you need to make body contact, you need to make contact with the ball.
“Too often we’re passive and that then results in the team walking up the pitch and getting the ball into the box and that’s difficult.
“We have to work on being a more physical team.”
Results elsewhere didn’t go for Chesterfield this week but Caldwell insists they’re irrelevant: “I’ve said all along we have to focus on what we do.
“We have to get to a points total that’s going to give us a chance to stay in this league and that’s still our focus.
“We have our targets and if we meet them we have a chance of staying in this league.
“Regardless of what other teams do we have to concentrate on our own games.”
Second from bottom Town visit eighth-placed Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
And if they tighten up defensively but continue to show the attacking endeavour that was on display for parts of the Peterborough game, Caldwell expects his men to compete.
“I think the spells we had, the first 20 minutes and the first half an hour of the second half, when we play like that we’re a match for anyone,” he said.
“We have to try and get that performance and get it for more of the 90 minutes.
“If we do that we’ll win games.”