Chesterfield monitoring fitness of pair but could welcome back defender ahead of '˜great occasion' against Grimsby
Chesterfield are once again playing the waiting game over a pair of first team regulars, but could welcome Jerome Binnom-Williams back for tomorrow's FA Cup clash.
Will Evans has missed Town’s last two fixtures with a hip problem and Zavon Hines played 90 minutes for the first time in a month on Tuesday night.
Martin Allen, who will be without the suspended Laurence Maguire, doesn’t yet know if he’ll be able to count upon their services when Grimsby Town visit the Proact.
“(Will) is going to have a fitness test,” said the Chesterfield boss.
“Zavon came through Tuesday okay, (but) he didn’t train on Thursday.
“We’ll see how he is today.”
In better news, left-back Binnom-Williams has apparently recovered from the illness that saw him drop out of the side at the last minute in midweek and he trained on Thursday.
Allen has made a concerted effort to give his players time to recuperate following a busy period of football.
“Being the fourth game in 10 days, it was important that w physically rested the players,” he said.
“We had a group in training on Wednesday, who weren’t involved in Tuesday.
“We’ve given them plenty of rest, it’s been a full-on 10 days with four games.
The manager left his players in the dressing room on Tuesday night, in order to let them hold an inquest into what he called a ‘poor, poor, poor’ performance against Bromley.
He and his squad have to focus on the positives of their current run, he said.
It might be almost four months since they won at the Proact, but they’re unbeaten in 12 outings.
“But I can’t and they can’t lose sight of the fact they’ve now gone 12 games unbeaten.
“They’re pleased with the fightback and the courage they’re showing, but they’re disappointed in the way we’ve played at home because it hasn’t reflected how well we’ve been playing away from home.
“There is a disappointment, especially in front of our home supporters, which is always important.
“If we had the home form, coupled with the away draws, we’d be flying high.”
Nine consecutive draws in the National League have left them in the relegation zone, but that will be put to one side tomorrow in a competition that has brought joy so far this season.
National League promotion hopefuls AFC Fylde and National League South title challengers Billericay have fallen victim to 3-1 defeats by Town in the previous rounds.
Allen doesn’t see tomorrow’s game at home to the Mariners as ‘critical’ in light of their league form.
Instead, he sees it as a day to be enjoyed.
“I wouldn’t use the word critical, it’s the magic of the FA Cup.
“It’s a great occasion, a great occasion in English football history to be taking part in the FA Cup.
“For some of these players it’s the first time they’re playing in the first and second round, they’ve been playing in the qualifying rounds.
“For it to be on a Sunday, on television, is great for the players, it’s great for the club.
“We’re nowhere near the echelons of where this club was a few years ago when they were playing at Old Trafford in the Fa Cup, and of course all the supporters remember those great days, but we are where we are.
“We can’t keep moaning and complaining about it.
“We’ve got to take this great occasion on Sunday, get behind the team, everyone has got to give them full support and backing.
“These are the days you love.”
As for the visitors, Allen is fully up to speed on Michael Jolley’s outfit.
He says their League Two struggles, last season (18th place) and this (18th after 20 games), show just how difficult it is for clubs both going up and coming down at this level of football.
“We’ve had a scouting report through from Wyscout and another report from someone I trust.
“They’ve just scored five goals on Tuesday night, they’ve got some very good players, they’re very well organised by their manager - he knows what he’s doing.
“He’s young, on the way up.
“It just shows how difficult it is, that transition between the Conference and the second division, there’s not many clubs go up and stabilise. One or two fly through with the momentum, but there’s not many manage to do it.
“And likewise there’s not many manage to come down into the Conference and go back up in the first season.
“It’s only happened twice in the history of the competition.
“That just shows you the gaps and the differences when clubs make that change.
“The same applies to us and Grimsby, it’ll take them a few years to stabilise what is a good club.”