Six areas Chesterfield must improve if they are to follow Wrexham and Notts County into EFL

Chesterfield will be favourites to win the National League title next season.
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With Wrexham and Notts County out of the way, the Spireites will top the bookies’ list to take the crown.

Here’s six areas they will need to improve on if that is to come true…

That 20-goal man

Chesterfield will be favourites to win the National League next season. Picture: Tina Jenner.Chesterfield will be favourites to win the National League next season. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Chesterfield will be favourites to win the National League next season. Picture: Tina Jenner.
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Obviously. Chesterfield’s top scorer this season was Armando Dobra with 12 in all competitions which is a good return for a wide man but they will need someone to get close to 20 and beyond if they are to win the title. Or two strikers who get 15 or more each. Andy Dallas could be the man - he got eight in his short loan spell - but there is a lot of interest in him. It is going to be hard to get a ‘proven’ 20-goal man because everyone else will be looking at the same targets. So it might be down to Paul Cook to work his magic and uncover a rough diamond or bag an EFL forward who wants regular game-time.

That recruitment

Unlike every season since Chesterfield have dropped out of the EFL, I don’t think we will see loads of new faces. There doesn’t need to be. A handful maybe. It’s about quality rather than quantity this time. The foundation of the squad is there, it just needs a bit more talent at both ends of the pitch and more depth in the middle. They will also hope to keep their best players (interest in Dobra seems likely) and be ready to react if that happens.

That consistency

The Spireites were a bit streaky this season. They started off 10 games unbeaten. Then lose three in a row. Then went nine without a loss. Then there was the nine-match run without a win in February. Before finishing the season with one defeat in 14 before the play-off final. Sometimes you didn’t know which Chesterfield was going to turn up. The one who could beat anyone on their day or the one who shipped sloppy goals and couldn’t hit a barn door down the other. Three straight defeats in a week and going a whole month without a win can’t happen next year.

That soft underbelly

This one is linked to the point above. At times this season the Blues conceded some really soft goals at really bad times. Of course over a season mistakes will happen and they aren’t going to go the whole campaign undefeated. But there were games this season where they didn’t score when they were well on top and then did something daft down the other end. They had an unbelievable team spirit - racking up the most points from losing positions - but they need to be a bit harder to beat and a bit more gritty so they collect points when they aren’t at their best. As managers always say, if you can’t win it, don’t lose it.

That clean sheet record

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This one also follows on from the above. Town managed 13 shut-outs in the National League. It’s an okay record, but it was only the ninth best in the division. Southend United - with 18 - got the most, while Wrexham and Notts County achieved 17. It probably comes down to the super attack-minded approach, but the Spireites will need to tighten it up at the back.

That home form

Nitpicking a bit with this one because the Spireites had the third best home record this season. Now, it would be a lot to ask for them to match Wrexham’s form at the Racecourse Ground, where they won 22 of 23 games and were undefeated. That’s just insane. But Notts County’s 56 points (Chesterfield got 47) seems more realistic. The conclusion is that Town can’t let six opposition teams come to the Technique Stadium and take all three points. That’s too many to be crowned champions.