Spireites boss Dean Saunders saw plenty of positives in his side’s extra time Capital One Cup game at Carlisle United.
He said: “It was a great game to watch, end to end with lots and lots of chances and lots of good play; it was like a basketball match at times and we could have been 3-0 up in the first five minutes.
“They got on top of us just before half time and Tommy Lee had to make some great saves.
“Mani Dieseruvwe and Jake Orrell came off the bench and did well, Mani scored a great goal and just when it looked like we’d go on and win the game he got a red card and I got my worst fears, extra time, ten men and a three and a half hour journey home which isn’t good for Saturday when we’ve a massive game at Sheffield United.”
The manager left Drew Talbot and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at home on Tuesday, bringing in Charlie Raglan and Armand Gnanduillet to replace them. He commented: “They’ve both got glass hamstrings and we’ve a tough game on Saturday.
“Drew couldn’t breathe on 75 minutes last Saturday, he’s only trained for a week, so I wanted them both to be ready for the next game and it gave me a chance to look at a couple of the other players.”
It’s clear what the manager will be working on in training ahead of the trip to Bramall Lane: “Going forward we look a threat, we had 19 efforts on Saturday and about 29 at Carlisle, but unfortunately Tommy Lee had too much to do.”
Saunders will be hoping to add to his roster before the weekend; he confirmed he’d like “a defender, a central midfielder and probably a winger,” in his squad before the transfer window closes.
Saturday’s 11 looks set to closely resemble that which came from behind to beat Barnsley in the season’s opener and the game will be a first real test of the fitness regime pulled together by Mal Purchase.
Against Barnsley, Spireites finished the game looking very fit and even with ten men in the additional 30 minutes at Brunton Park, fatigue wasn’t a visible issue, but recovering from that extra time and a long round trip will be a big test.