The torrential rain over the past few weeks has caused havoc for groundsmen up and down the country, but - as far as Jimmy Ryan is concerned - the garden has never looked so rosy.
Chesterfield are leading the way at the top of League Two and are well-placed in the northern area final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy ahead of Tuesday’s second leg against Fleetwood Town on home soil.
Paul Cook’s side hold a two-goal advantage over the Cod Army after the first instalment and Ryan knows the Spireites will have their work cut out in the concluding chapter as both sides battle it out for a place at Wembley on March 30.
Ryan said: “You always want to have the lead going into the home leg but it’s 90 minutes of football and anything could happen. Fleetwood are a good side and they’ve got goals on the pitch, so we’ve got to be up for the game to get through.
“It’s not going to be an easy 90 minutes and we know that.”
The 25-year-old scored the third in a 3-1 win at Highbury Stadium earlier this month with a dipping, curling effort which deceived the despairing dive of Fleetwood’s keeper Scott Davies.
It was his third goal for Chesterfield following his summer move from Scunthorpe United. The midfielder travelled to Glanford Park for the first time last weekend since he left the Iron as the Spireites earned a point in the race for promotion to maintain a three-point lead at the top.
“If you’d have asked anyone at the start of the season where they’d like to be it’s exactly where we are,” said Ryan. “Top of the league and going into the semi final, or northern area final, of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy with a nice lead so everything is looking rosy at the minute.”
Chesterfield have built a reputation under Cook for being a passing side but Ryan believes the squad have shown in recent weeks against tough opponents and difficult weather conditions they can do the dirty side of the game just as well.
“It is hard because we like to pass the ball around and get the ball on the floor, which is hard because a lot of the teams in this league like to kick it long and play the conditions,” he said.
“We’re not really a physical side but we’ve stood up to a lot of teams and a lot of physical sides and we’ve come out on top which shows the league that we can do the ugly side as well.”
Following seven games in three weeks, the Spireites have enjoyed an extra day off ahead of another eight games in four weeks.
Ryan added: “I love the Saturday-Tuesday games because you’re straight into games from recovery and into games again, after a while it does become a bit tiring, and fair play to the gaffer he’s given us some rest this week.”