SPIREITES: Dean Saunders faced with task of re-igniting Chesterfield fans’ enthusiasm after lack of signings

Hartlepool United vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders - Pic By James Williamson
Hartlepool United vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders - Pic By James Williamson

Spireites supporters are getting desperate for news about new signings with the big kick-off just two days away.

Having seen Jimmy Ryan leave at the end of his contract to join Fleetwood plus the sales of Gary Roberts (Portsmouth), Sam Clucas (Hull) and Tendayi Darikwa (Burnley), so far none of the close on £2 million received in fees plus the freeing up of some higher end wage earners has been transformed into new faces.

To add to the drain, rumours about Sam Morsy being sought by MK Dons refuse to go away.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake arrived at the Proact before any of the four key departures had been confirmed leaving Dean Saunders with a rebuilding job he himself admitted he wasn’t expecting.

Last week chief executive Chris Turner indicated that the club was ’48 to 72 hours away’ from making signings that would ‘excite the fans’.

A week on and no new faces have been drafted in and bookies Bet Victor have slashed the odds on Spireites being relegated to 3-1, though most other odds-makers are not so pessimistic.

Whilst Saunders has a solid back line, with Tommy Lee protected by fit again Drew Talbot, Ian Evatt, Sam Hird and Dan Jones, the midfield quartet is looking under strength if any hope of a challenge for the play-offs is to be made.

Having lost three of the regular five of Paul Cook’s two holding and three attacking middle men, the engine room looks under resourced.

Gboly Ariyibi, Dan Gardner and Jay O’Shea are the competitors for the two wide berths whilst Morsy, Ollie Banks plus untried youngsters Michael Onovwigun and Dion Donohue are the main stays of the central positions at this juncture.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Armand Gnanduillet, Byron Harrison and 18-year-old newcomer Jake Orrell are the main attacking competitors, but the worry remains whoever plays up top needs to be fed, and the current midfield roster doesn’t have the feel of being major assistors.

Saunders has the spending power and patience to ensure his signings will be right, but supporters want to see action in the market now, involving players of similar quality to those that have departed coming in.

Whilst a single ball hasn’t been kicked yet, it’s clear that Saunders has a huge job to do to re-ignite the enthusiasm in the stands that was so much in evidence just a few months ago.