Spireites displays under caretaker will dictate speed of manager search says Turner, as ‘40’ apply for job

Chesterfield caretaker manager Mark Smith
Chesterfield caretaker manager Mark Smith

Chesterfield chief executive Chris Turner says the performance of the team under caretaker boss Mark Smith will have a big say on how quickly a new manager is appointed.

Dean Saunders was sacked after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at home by Swindon, in what Turner called a ‘tough decision’ and academy boss Smith put in temporary charge.

Turner also says he has a list of 40 managers whose names have been put forward for the vacancy.

But he warns that not every manager whose name is being bandied out will be keen on a move to the Proact.

“I’ve got a list on my desk of about 40 who have applied for the job,” he said.

“You go down that list ticking them off if they’re a possibility, then you call them up.

“I’ve spoken to two clubs about compensation and it’s out of our reach – good managers are hard to find.

“We’re not going to get managers on £400,000-plus a year coming to Chesterfield, we’re not going to dislodge managers in good jobs in the Championship and League One.

“There are bigger clubs in this league.

“The ones that hit you in the fact are in jobs or are too expensive, they won’t drop to League One.

But the time scale given to the search for Saunders’ replacement will be steered by how Spireites perform under Smith and his assistants, Mark Crossley and Paul Mitchell, starting at home to Walsall in the FA Cup on Saturday.

“Depending on how the team perform, that will speed up the process or slow it down,” said Turner.

“If Mark Smith went and wont he first five games then there’s no panic to bring in the next guy, let’s wait and see.

“Caretaker managers tend to get decent results, but I will draw up a list of candidates and see who fits the job the best and will give the club the opportunity to keep going forward.

“We’ve got a game on Saturday, Mark’s preparing the team for Saturday.

“I will speak to a number of people and then put forward to the chairman who I feel we should interview at length and then when we decide on who we think is for the job, we’ll look at the results of the team and the performances of the team and decide when is the right time to appoint a new manager.”

Some of the names in the frame include bookies’ favourite Danny Wilson and former Swindon boss Mark Cooper.

Whoever gets the job should be welcomed with open minds and given time, Turner insists.

“Nobody knows, even when you’re appointing a manager for Manchester United, at any football club, nobody knows until they get off and running.

“We want supporters to get behind whoever is appointed and give him a fair crack of the whip and hopefully he will be successful.”

Turner said Saunders’ position became untenable after the players lost confidence.

“We just felt that the confidence had zapped out of the team and the confidence in most things had gone from the crowd. We felt like it was the right thing to do.

“We’ve invested a lot of money into this playing squad and we’ve had some great years in the last five or six years in this stadium and we felt it was slipping away, and we had to arresst the slide and make this decision.

“We can still get in the play-offs, we’re still only a point or two behind the total we had at this time last year.

“There’s plenty of time still there this season.”