SPIREITES: Dean Saunders will be patient in his attempts to rebuild Chesterfield squad

Matlock vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders - Photo By James Williamson
Matlock vs Chesterfield - Dean Saunders - Photo By James Williamson

Chesterfield do not need to rush in to making new signings.

That is the message from Dean Saunders as he goes about replacing four key members of last season’s team in Gary Roberts, Jimmy Ryan, Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa.

The quartet played an integral part in the Spireites reaching the League One play-offs in May and Saunders is keen to bring in players of similar calibre to the Proact.

Saunders has set the bar high in his recruitment and has already brought in former Manchester United and Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to lead the Chesterfield attack.

And the Spireites manager said it may take time to get the right personnel through the door, as he sets about a bigger rebuilding job than he had initially anticipated.

“It’s a bigger rebuilding job now then when I took the job because I’ve lost four starters,” said the former Doncaster, Wolves and Crawley manager. “That’s half my team.”

“The best players when they play well get poached. I’ve tried my best to keep hold of them all but £1.3 million for Sam Clucas and £600,000 for Tendayi Darikwa were good offers.

“And let’s remember the boys are earning more than what they were earning here. Once they get wind of it, not saying they want to leave, but it happens.

“It takes time to replace them and not only that there’s a hierarchy, spirit in the dressing rooms, stand up in the community players they all look up to - there’s a pecking order.

“The players at the top of that pecking order, they’re all gone. It’s up to people in that pecking order to stand up and push up in the dressing room, it’s the overall spirit I have in mind.”

Goalkeeper Alex Cairns, midfielder Dion Donohue and striker Jake Orrell have followed in the footsteps of Ebanks-Blake through the Proact entrance.

A new signing could even arrive before the season opener tomorrow against Barnsley at the Proact Stadium with Chesterfield making a bid for a mystery midfielder.

And Saunders acknowledged the fans’ frustration.

“I would like to think most fans will see that we’re Chesterfield and we can’t turn down those (Clucas and Darikwa) offers. We’ve signed Sylvan, a promising keeper and a prospect so far,” he said.

“I will be signing two or three players. There’s no panic because it’s the first game tomorrow, we’ve got to get them right, we can’t get them wrong because they will make the difference to our finishing position.

“We’re not going to get players to back up what we’ve got, we’re going after three starters, if I can bring them in. I can understand the fans wondering, but we know what we’ve got in front of us.

He added: “Something might happen before Barnsley. If not it will be next week. Once the manager picks the first team of the season the players know what he’s thinking and next week a lot more players will become available.”