Manager outlines need to stick to game plan

Manager James Rowe warned that his side need to stick to their game plan when they travel to Blundell Park to take on Grimsby Town on Saturday.

Speaking in the pre-match press conference, he said: “Grimsby are a title rival no matter what their recent form is. They’ve got the budget; they’ve got experience in a manager that’s been promoted from this level.

“We’re not underestimating them at all, despite their form. We will respect them but also stick to the game plan and if we do that, I’m sure we’ll get close to winning the game if not win it.

“There’s many challenges at this level and this is no different. Form goes out of the window a little bit when it’s a sell-out or near a sell-out. The rivalry is quite clear between the two clubs.

“They are going to be desperate for a win because they want to change that form. Paul Hurst is a very experience manager and they have experience running through their team, so it’s going to be a great challenge for us. We just need to remain focused on what we want to do on the day.”

The Spireites were awarded with an FA Cup third round tie at Stamford Bridge to play the champions of Europe, Chelsea – after beating Salford City 2-0 in the previous round.

Rowe believes the draw is reward for everybody associated with the club but stated that performance levels elsewhere must not drop.

“When we drew Chelsea out of the bag, I couldn’t quite believe it,” Rowe said. “It’s a reward for everybody and their hard work.

“Certainly, there’s been some real people behind the scenes that are working so hard for this football club. It’s a reward for them as well as the players and their dedication since we joined back in June.

“We enjoyed the moment, but we know what the end target is. We’ve got to make sure we maintain our form for the next five months and see where that takes us.”

Chesterfield have seen light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to injuries sustained by the squad but may be without a defender for Saturday.

Rowe said: “Luke Croll is 50/50 at the moment. He got through yesterday and it depends on what happens with him today. We might have to not rush him back, but it could look promising come the end of the training session today.

“I think we’re looking strong after the King’s Lynn game. Coincidentally, we’re at Stamford Bridge after that one. Our squad will probably be the strongest it has been this season come the FA Cup game.”