SPIREITES: Play-off place secured but plenty riding on Sheffield United clash, says Chesterfield’s Gary Roberts

Chesterfield vs Bristol City - Gary Roberts brings the ball forward - Pic By James Williamson
Chesterfield vs Bristol City - Gary Roberts brings the ball forward - Pic By James Williamson

A place in the play-offs has already been secured but there is still plenty riding on Sunday’s clash with rivals Sheffield United, says Chesterfield’s Gary Roberts.

The short journey across to Bramall Lane will signal an end to the season’s regular fixtures but the Spireites’ campaign for promotion to the Championship continues.

A semi-final clash over two legs with either Preston North End, MK Dons or Swindon Town could lead to a Wembley final against the Blades in little over three weeks’ time.

It is a mouthwatering prospect for Chesterfield but all their focus will remain on this Sunday’s (May 3, 12.15pm KO) derby over in the Steel City against an old adversary.

And, with a further 1,300 tickets allocated in the away end this week, Spireites are expected to go in to battle on the last day backed by more than 4,000 supporters.

“We can go above them, so there is stuff to play for,” said Roberts. “We’ll go there to win the game. There’ll be three or four thousand fans, you’ve got to go there and perform otherwise they won’t be happy with you.

“Our manager won’t be happy either. We might meet them in the final you never know. So we go there looking to put a marker down.”

Chesterfield won the reverse fixture at the Proact Stadium in October, which saw Michael Higdon and Tommy Lee given their marching orders, as both side’s finished with ten men.

It followed an encouraging start to the season for the Spireites fresh off the back of winning the League Two championship and reaching a Wembley final in the JP Trophy.

And those achievements over the past two seasons haven’t gone unnoticed, with managerless Portsmouth eyeing up the availability of Chesterfield boss Paul Cook over the last week.

Pompey, once a Premier League staple and FA Cup winners, have fallen down the divisions in recent years and have just finished their second season in League Two.

The south coast side have had an official approach knocked back by the Spireites but Cook remains a bookies’ frontrunner alongside Martin Allen, who sealed promotion to the Football League with Barnet on Saturday.

Cook, who has been nominated for the League One Manager of the Month for April, is 2/7 on, Allen 3/1 and Phil Brown 12/1 on Thursday morning with SkyBet.

Meanwhile, former Chesterfield striker Eoin Doyle was selected in the PFA League One Team of the Year having scored 25 goals for the Spireites before his February move to Cardiff City.