Eaden reveals the moment he discovered Lester's legendary status at Chesterfield
Nicky Eaden believes Jack Lester's legendary status at the Proact can only help to maintain the backing of the fans.
Chesterfield’s assistant manager played with Lester at Nottingham Forest and the two kept in touch, before both ended up working in U21s and U23s football.
Lester was the Forest U23s boss when the opportunity to come back to the Proact arose in September, while Eaden was in charge of Coventry City’s U23s.
Less than a month before they were announced as Town’s new manager and assistant, Eaden became aware of just how popular Lester was at the club.
“I came up here with Coventry with the first team at the start of the season when it was 0-0,” said Eaden.
“It caught my eye in the back of the programme when it said the number 14 had been retired.
“I didn’t know he’d been that good, but I knew he’d had success.”
Lester convinced Eaden convinced to leave the Sky Blues for a darker shade of the same colour, thanks to their shared philosophy on how a first team should be run and how they should play.
But the fact that the man who scored 94 goals as a Spireite was still a firm favourite with the fanbase was another attractive element for Eaden.
He believed that bond between the manager and the fans might give the new regime a little more breathing space as they sought to turn the ship around.
“I knew he was well thought of at the club so that was just another positive,” said Eaden.
“It’s obviously a positive thing.
“First team football is a results business and we all realise that but if you’ve got that good rapport with fans it maybe buys you a bit more time.
“The way we’re playing helps and getting a few results helps.
“It’s good that Jack has that rapport because you need the fans on board, every club does. As soon as you lose the fans it’s the beginning of the end.”
So far, his decision to depart Coventry and link up with Lester again appears to be paying off.
After a baptism of fire, with seven games in their first four weeks in charge, there was a three-week break from midweek games that allowed them to work more intensively on the training ground and start to sculpt the squad.
“It’s been good so far, obviously the position we were in when we came in was a difficult one,” he said.
“First couple of weeks we had midweek games so you’re just doing match prep and straight into the next game.
“But once we got the Saturday to Saturday we as a staff could get more of our ideas over and get more work into the players.
“When you’ve got Saturday-Tuesday your mind is just on the next game, physically you can only get so much work into the players because you want to keep them fresh for the games.
“When they’ve got a full week to work you can get a lot more physical and tactical work into them.”
As ever, with any management team, the proof is in the pudding.
Eaden isn’t making any bold claims or statements about the impact he and Lester have had since their 29th September arrival.
But there’s a quiet satisfaction in his words that sum up the journey so far.
“You don’t want to get ahead of yourself or get carried away but we feel like the players have shown a real positive response to things we’ve asked them to do in training and games.
“We’ve seen a bit of proof of that in the points total.
“I think the performances as well show it.
“It seems to be a place at the minute where the players want to come in, they enjoy their training and enjoy working hard.”