How Haydn Hollis has turned his Chesterfield career around with some impressive performances

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From out of the cold, Haydn Hollis is now in red hot form.

Of all the players James Rowe inherited, he has been the one who has improved the most.

Will Evans and Laurence Maguire deserve mentions too, but Hollis is the glue that sticks the back three together.

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Eyebrows were raised when former boss John Pemberton offered Hollis a new one-year contract in the summer but he has shown he has something to offer.

Haydn Hollis has been a rock for Chesterfield under James Rowe. Picture: Phil Tooley.Haydn Hollis has been a rock for Chesterfield under James Rowe. Picture: Phil Tooley.
Haydn Hollis has been a rock for Chesterfield under James Rowe. Picture: Phil Tooley.

The 28-year-old had a few niggles at the beginning of the season and his only start under Pemberton in this campaign was in the 3-2 defeat at Wealdstone. After that loss, he found himself regularly on the bench until Rowe came in.

Making his first start in five weeks in Rowe’s first match at Weymouth, Hollis was moved to the middle of a back three instead of on the left, where he has played most of his Town career. On his return to the side, he put in a man of the match performance with a staggering 90 per cent passing accuracy along with 10 interceptions.

"Sometimes it is about telling someone what they can do rather than what they can’t do,” Rowe said when asked about Hollis.

Since then he has been a different animal.

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The absence of fans means you can hear the players’ shouts and Hollis never shuts up. His organisation and leadership skills helped Chesterfield record five clean sheets on the bounce and the Spireites really need him to stay clear of injuries and suspensions.

In Hollis’ seven appearances under Rowe, the Blues have won six and conceded just twice. He has even managed to bag himself a couple of goals, heading the winner against Sutton United and finding the net in the 6-0 hammering over Barnet.

The defender has improved in almost every department compared to his performances last season:

- Total actions successful 70% (61.8% in 19/20)

- Passing accuracy 83% (69.9%)

- Long passes 50% (44.1%)

- Duels won 65.2 (64.1%)

- Interceptions 6.23 (5.64)

- Losses own half 6.99 (10.24)

- xG 0.09 (0.02)

If he carries on like this, it would be hard to argue against him getting another new contract, and not many people would have thought that three months ago.