Spireites team talk: Chesterfield welcome back defensive duo

Pictures Martin Bostock'Fleetwood Town v Chesterfield'Former Blackool player Ian Evatt for Chesterfield.
Pictures Martin Bostock'Fleetwood Town v Chesterfield'Former Blackool player Ian Evatt for Chesterfield.

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook is almost spoilt for choice for his side’s trip to Southend United on Saturday.

Unlike previous weeks when resources have been stretched, the Spireites boss looks set to have a fully fit and available squad for Saturday’s trip to Roots Hall.

Sam Hird and club captain Ian Evatt are available for selection after they both missed the victory against Bury last weekend through suspension.

Liam Cooper and Matty Brown partnered at the heart of defence against the Shakers and came through it with a comfortable clean sheet in an impressive 4-0 win.

Their cause was helped when the visitors to the Proact Stadium were reduced to ten men when Danny Mayor was sent off just before the break.

But Chesterfield’s strength in depth is clear for all to see.

Cook said: “We’ve got great depth. We’re lucky that the recruitment at the club has been very good.

“The chief scout, Paul Mitchell, deserves a lot of credit as does the chairman and the directors because sometimes when you’re recruiting, they’re not ready for today.

“So the manager’s got to put results out there as well as groom players to go forward and I think you can see at our club, with the likes of Ollie Banks, Dan Gardner, Matty Brown, we have a lot of lads being groomed who are going to be good players and I think that can only be good for the club in the future.”

Chesterfield came out victorious when the two sides met in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign.

A 90th-minute header from Armand Gnanduillet gave the Spireites a 2-1 win on a sunny August afternoon. Freddy Eastwood had earlier cancelled out Gary Roberts’ opener.

The two sides have met since in the second round of the FA Cup last month when Southend levelled the scores with a 3-1 win at the Proact.

Tendayi Darikwa had put the hosts into an early lead before Mark Laird equalised, Anthony Straker made it two before former Chesterfield man Kevan Hurst wrapped the game up late on.

Phil Brown’s Shrimpers sit just two points behind Chesterfield in the League Two table but have played a game more.

Southend are unbeaten in their last six - the same as Chesterfield - and possess much firepower in the likes of Hurst, Barry Corr and Freddy Eastwood.

Last time out

Chesterfield X1 v Bury: Lee; Talbot (c), Brown, Cooper, Smith; Morsy, Ryan; O’Shea, Banks, Roberts; Richards

Southend X1 v Plymouth Argyle: Bentley; Leonard, Coker, Clifford, Phillips, Prosser, Atkinson, Timlin, Corr, Hurst, Straker