Spireites closing in on new midfielder and have striker bid rejected - everything you need to know from last night's Q&A

Spireites boss Martin Allen answered dozens of questions last night at the Proact. Picture by Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD.
Spireites boss Martin Allen answered dozens of questions last night at the Proact. Picture by Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD.

Spireites boss Martin Allen promised openness and honesty ahead of last night's fans forum at the Proact.

And that's exactly what he delivered in front of a packed room of season ticket holders as he answered dozens of questions on a range of topics such as tactics, style of play, recruitment, fitness, dropping his top goalscorer, set-pieces and referees for more than two hours.

The Chesterfield manager sprung a surprise by revealing they are close to signing a new centre midfielder on an 18-month deal - but he did not want to say who it is until the paperwork has gone through.

Allen also said they had seen a bid a of £50,000 rejected for another player - and later hinted it may have been for a striker.

Addressing those in attendance on Tuesday night, Allen, said: "The one thing that we share is the love and passion for football. For you people, your love and passion is for Chesterfield Football Club. While supporting your football club you have had times when the club has nearly gone bankrupt, you have had times when you went to Wembley stadium, an FA Cup semi-final and, I think it is fair to say, some plodding along years. But whatever happens your passion for football and your love for your club - nothing will ever dilute that. Nothing will ever change that love you have for your club. Whether you are in Division One, Championship or where you are now.

He added: "This evening, we will have two hours of honesty and straight-talking.

"This season has been difficult. It is not why I came here for. I knew your club was in trouble after two relegations in three years. But with the recruitment we put in place I fully expected to be minimum top three. It is a disappointment. You cannot believe how disappointed I am."

After his opening speech Allen showed a series of slideshows and videos of the "progress" they have made since the 3-1 defeat to Maidenhead United on September 25.

For Allen, the loss to Maidenhead was the moment he realised they had to change their game plan. He said he sat in his office with his staff after that defeat for six hours analysing what had gone wrong so far.

He also had a meeting with "his bosses" who, he said, were asking for "progress".

According to Allen's slideshow, the average age of the starting line-up has been reduced from 29.9 on September 25 to 24.6 by October 30. It also detailed how more headers and tackles were being won by his team.

Allen then played a "motivational" video which showed short clips of positive play by each player in his squad.

The Spireites boss went on to talk about recruitment, admitting: "Some I got wrong, before adding: "Some I got very right. Some have done okay - but that is not enough for us."

It was at this point that the Chesterfield chief revealed that they are closing in on signing a centre midfielder on an 18-month deal.

And that a £50,000 bid had been turned for a player earlier in the day.

Allen then gave an insight into his style of play so the fans could understand what he was trying to do.

He talked about using Tom Denton in the middle of a front three, with pace either side of him to push back the opposition. He wants his three midfielder players to create a "curve" around the attacking trio and pick up second balls and his defence to work more as a unit.

The Spireites boss added that he thought Joe Rowley could play in front of the back four because he has the ability to play in tight spaces and then release forward passes.

He also admitted that his team's set-pieces had been "abysmal" - but work was being done to improve - and that he was "much happier" with fitness levels.

After a short break it was time for the fans to put questions to Allen.

During this section he hinted that the £50,000 may have been for a striker when he was asked where the goals are going to come from.

One fan asked if he felt "ashamed, guilty or embarrassed" by the poor run of form. He responded by saying he was "frustrated, disappointed and sad."

Another supporter asked how he could justify saying they were making "progress" when they have slipped to 19th and not won a game in the National League since August 11. Allen responded by saying they are seven games unbeaten and that they had drawn against some strong teams in recent weeks.

When asked about dropping striker Marc-Antoine Fortune, who is the top goalscorer. Allen said that he did not think Fortune had been giving enough to the team.

Allen also praised the Chesterfield supporters, saying: "It is amazing how many supporters that this club has."

Finally, Allen said he would not be playing a "weaker" team for the FA Cup game on Saturday against Billericay Town.

Some supporters may have gone home unhappy with some of Allen's answers, but he was applauded off the stage and thanked for fronting up.