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IN OPPOSITION: CHESTERFIELD

7 June 2016

Chesterfield will be looking to kick on this coming season after ensuring their survival in League One when relegation to the basement division had threatened during parts of the season.

A poor run of form during November and into December which saw The Spireites lose seven games in succession, had them as low as 20th in the League One table and just three points off the bottom. The loss at Peterborough United on Boxing Day capped a miserable first half of the season for a side who had reached the play-off semi-finals just over six months earlier.

Dean Saunders was sacked during the torrid winter run after they lost 4-0 at home to Swindon Town. New manager Danny Wilson oversaw a 7-1 thrashing of Shrewsbury Town at the beginning of January and they followed up that success with a 3-2 win at play-off chasing Rochdale. A run of successive defeats to Wigan Athletic, Millwall, Peterborough United and Burton Albion kept them in trouble but their good form between then and the end of the season proved pivotal. 

The Spireites picked up 19 points from their next 11 matches including an important victory at eventually promoted Barnsley in a local derby. Although Wilson's men picked up just one win in their final five games of the season, it was a win which made sure they were mathematically safe from relegation; a 3-0 home victory against Bury kept their heads above the water.



AT THE HELM: DANNY WILSON


Wilson must take credit for managing to keep Chesterfield in League One after a hugely disappointing first half of the 2015-16 season. Even though the Spireites had lost key players from last season such as Eoin Doyle, Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa, they were still expected to at least finish in the top half of the table, but that didn't quite materialise.

Wilson began his professional playing career in 1976 with hometown club Wigan Athletic. He featured prominently for Chesterfield, Brighton & Hove Albion and Luton Town before finishing his career with spells at South
Yorkshire duo Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley.

The 56 year old former Northern Ireland international began his managerial career with spells at the latter, before taking over at Bristol City in 2000. He spent four years at Ashton Gate before a December 2004 switch to the recently formed Milton Keynes Dons. Wilson couldn't save the club from relegation into League Two in 2005-06 and he was sacked, ultimately leading him to his next managerial job, at Hartlepool United.

Spells at Swindon Town, Sheffield United and Barnsley followed, before taking over from Dean Saunders at Chesterfield on Christmas Eve 2015; just10 months after being sacked by neighbouring Barnsley. Spireites fans will be hoping that he's the man to take the club forward this coming season.


DANGER MEN:


Lee Novak led the Chesterfield scoring charts last season, with 15 goals whilst on loan from Championship side Birmingham City. The former Huddersfield Town and Gateshead frontman is currently a free agent following
his release from St. Andrew's and he has been linked with a move to Shrewsbury Town. Danny Wilson is likely to want to retain his services for the coming season after his performances during 2015-16.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake has a proven track record in front of goal and alongside Novak, his goals were important in keeping Chesterfield in League One last season, with 10 to his name in the league.

Jay O'Shea is a technically gifted midfielder who has played an important role at The Proact for the past few seasons now, and he will be looking to build on a 9 goal total from last season. A goal-scoring midfielder is
certainly a category which he fits into perfectly. 

Young Bermudian forward Rai Simons has been offered a new contract to remain at Chesterfield and he will be looking to play a more prominent role this coming season after finding the net 5 times last time out.


HEAD TO HEAD:

The two teams have met on an incredible 94 occasions and City are well in front in terms of games won. Bradford City have won 43 times with Chesterfield winning on 23 occasions. The two sides have drawn 28 matches
also.

The most recent encounter was City's final game of the 2015-16 season. Phil Parkinson's men were carrying real momentum going into the play-offs and recorded their third straight victory. The game finished 2-0 with Lee Evans and Billy Clarke both finding the net. 

The victory completed a league double over The Spireites following a 1-0 victory back in December; Tony McMahon's superbly taken goal after connecting with Billy Clarke's cut-back confirmed the victory. 



THEIR OWN PATCH:

The Proact


A ground typical of modern, British stadium architecture, Chesterfield moved into The Proact Stadium in 2010 after leaving their previous home of many years, Saltergate. 

Built at a cost of around £13 Million, the facilities, as you'd expect, are excellent. There is plenty of room between the rows of seats and it is a fully seated and fully covered ground. There is a look of symmetry to the ground which football traditionalists are not always keen on, but it's a great facility and one which can house almost 10 and-a-half thousand people. 

The away supporters are seated in the Away (South) stand behind the goal at one end of the ground and it is a stand that can accommodate just over 2,000
people. If demand requires (as seen during City's visit in 2012-13) a section of the Spencers Solicitors Community Stand, adjacent to the South Stand can be opened, expanding the away capacity to roughly 3,000.

10,400Capacity:

S41 8NZPostcode:



FANCY A FLUTTER?

Chesterfield are backed at 10/1 to earn promotion into the Championship and are priced at 33/1 to win the league title with Sky Bet.

www.skybet.com 

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