The Valiants travel to Chesterfield on Easter Monday for another crucial League Two encounter. Here is our quick guide to the opposition.
Man in charge
Paul Cook took over from John Sheridan in October following Chesterfield’s slow start to the season. Cook’s record stands at twelve wins, eleven losses and five draws. Cook was previously in charge of Accrington for 33 games.
Last time we met
The Valiants lost 0-2 at home in December thanks to goals from ex-Valiant Jay O’Shea and Tendayi Darikwa.
Chesterfield have won 38 compared to Vale’s 31 and there have been 21 draws. Vale’s last away win over Chesterfield came in 2009 – the Valiants triumphed 5-0 thanks to Rob Taylor, Craig Davies and a Marc Richards hat-trick.
It would be hard to cover Vale’s game against Chesterfield without mentioning Marc Richards (right). Ninth in the club’s all-time scoring charts with 75 goals, Richards ended a five year stay with Vale to join the Spireites in the summer. After a slow start to the season, Richards has hit seven goals in thirty two games for his new club.
Chesterfield’s squad contains three ex-Valiants in addition to Richards with both Sam Togwell and Jay O’Shea having loan spells at Vale Park and Danny Whitaker spending two years with the Valiants. Current Vale coach Rob Page finished his playing career at Chesterfield. Other players to appear for both sides include Craig Davies, Paul Harsley, Mark Innes, Colin Tartt, John Ridley, Martin Henderson, Gary Pollard, Andy Higgins, Bob Newton and John Callender.
Paul Cook could include Armand Gnanduillet in his starting XI while defender Sam Hird is also pushing for a start.
Lee Hughes is expected to miss out for the Valiants with Ben Williamson (right) deputising. Vale will be significantly boosted in midfield with Doug Loft, Sam Morsy and Chris Birchall all returning to the squad.
“A lot of people are saying they have got nothing to play for, but when you have got players such as Marc Richards, Danny Whittaker and Jay O’Shea they have players who want to prove a point.Every game between now and the end of the season is going to be difficult and if we are not going to be up for it and put the effort in then we are going to get beat.”
– Tom Pope