The key positions that Chesterfield's John Pemberton will look to strengthen

John Pemberton will be aiming to add some new additions to his Chesterfield squad in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 6:34 pm

Despite being caretaker manager, Pemberton will be allowed to bring in some new faces to help him lift the Spireites out of the National League relegation zone.

Here’s the positions we think he will look to strengthen:


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Getting a back-up keeper will be a priority for Pemberton.

Luke Coddington is going to be out injured for the rest of the season, leaving just Shwan Jalal as the club’s only senior goalkeeper.

Previous manager John Sheridan opted to take a risk and not name a sub goalkeeper on the bench knowing that defender Will Evans could go in goal if needed.

However, Pemberton is not of the same opinion and selected young stopper Dylan Wharton among the subs in his first game in charge against Sutton United.

John Pemberton.

We expect this to be the first position he adds to.

Right back

This is not as much of a priority as other positions, but Town might need to get someone in depending on the progress of injured pair Josef Yarney and Matt Tootle.

Yarney has had a niggling hamstring injury since the Notts County match on October 26.

He came back into the fold against Solihull Moors on Boxing Day but two days later at FC Halifax Town he was subbed off on 60 minutes as a precaution.

He started the next match in the reverse fixture at Solihull on New Year’s Day but went off injured feeling his hamstring after seven minutes.

Matt Tootle, who was signed on loan from Notts County in November as a replacement for Yarney, played three matches before sufffering an ankle injury.

On New Year's Day Sheridan said Tootle was a couple of weeks away so he could be close to returning before Chesterfield’s next match at Eastleigh on January 18.

Robbie Weir had to play right-back against Sutton and did well but it is not his natural position, while youngster Jamie Sharman came on at right-back in the second-half of that game.

Centre midfield

This has been a big problem for Chesterfield all season.

Sheridan tried numerous different combinations but never settled on a preferred pairing.

Pemberton went with three in the middle of midfield against Sutton with Jonathan Smith, Curtis Weston and Sam Wedgbury getting the nod.

With Laurence Maguire out injured for the rest of the season, there is only Weir and Liam Mandeville who could play that role, although he is more of a number 10.

David Buchanan played in midfield under Sheridan but surely he will continue at left-back following his superb performance against Sutton.

Pemberton wants to play possession-based football so he may look to bring in someone who can go and collect the ball off the back four and let the likes of Weston and Smith play further forward.

Pemberton will no doubt want to add more goals to his midfield as well with Weston on four and Smith on two, so an attack-minded player could also be on his list.


Gevaro Nepomuceno and Jermaine McGlashan have both returned to their parent clubs so there is a need for some width.

Even if Pemberton wants to play a narrow midfield, there will be times when he needs wingers to change a game, particularly at home.

Jack McKay and Joe Rowley cover the right flank but a left-footer on the opposite flank will add some much-needed balance.