Chesterfield's rise up the National League table no surprise for the man who steadied the ship mid-season

John Pemberton steadied the ship midway through the season.
John Pemberton steadied the ship midway through the season.

Chesterfield's rapid rise up the National League table has not come as a shock to the man who steadied the ship mid-season.

John Pemberton bridged the three-game gap between former boss Martin Allen and current manager John Sheridan.

His caretaker spell yielded three draws and in each of them the Spireites came from behind to claim a point.

The final game of his time in charge saw Town recover from a three-goal deficit at home to Ebbsfleet United.

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Chesterfield's academy chief looks back fondly on that period of the season.

"The club was in a position, the manager and staff left and someone had to step in," he said.

"I was probably the obvious choice.

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"I've got to say I enjoyed it, I enjoyed working with the players."

Since the dramatic 3-3 draw against Ebbsfleet, the Spireites have won 11 of 19 games under Sheridan and traded the relegation zone for the top half of the National League table.

With a game remaining in the season, they could yet finish as high as 11th, having sat 22nd in January.

They've played a more attractive style of football and scored more goals, per game, than prior to the new manager's arrival.

The resurgence is something Pemberton believed the players capable of, if they were freed of the pressure upon them.

"How we've gone since the manager has come in is not a surprise to me," he said.

"I've worked with the players closely so I knew what they were, I knew their mentality.

"They were never a million miles away, they just needed a bit of guidance, a bit of pressure taking off them.

"I changed the way we played a little bit, but it was just about changing the environment a little bit so they could function."