When Chesterfield announced earlier this week they were dispensing with the services of manager Jack Lester, it certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Former Spireites player Lester was only appointed at the end of September with the club then already in the League Two relegation zone having finished bottom of League One last season. But he was unable to arrest the club’s dramatic slide which looks like ending in a double relegation for the Proact Stadium outfit to the National League.
Last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Forest Green proved the last straw for the club’s board with Lester and his backroom staff leaving the club on Monday morning, five points adrift of Barnet and in need of more than a minor miracle to survive.
The fate of the club rests in the hands of another former player Ian Evatt assisted by the academy manger Miguel Llera for the final three games of the season, games which must all be won and even that might not be enough to save Chesterfield from trips to Salford City, Maidstone Eastleigh to name a few.
With a goal difference more than double the size of Morecambe, who are the nearest team that can be caught, it would take a dramatic effort for the club to remain in League Two.
By the time Chesterfield take to the field on Saturday when they host promotion chasing Wycombe, they could already be relegated should Morecambe have secured at least a point from their midweek game with Cambridge.
From a results point of view, Lester would have expected the change to come. No wins at all in April and two of those defeats came against fellow strugglers Grimsby and as mentioned Forest Green.
But the timing of the announcement is slightly baffling as there is no room for manoeuvre for the incoming manager, three wins, no less and even that might not be enough.
When Martin Allen took over at Barnet on 19th March, the Spireites were a point in front of the Bees with 3 games in hand and six points from safety.
Four weeks on, Barnet have picked up points and are now five points in front of Chesterfield, the gap is now nine points from safety and almost out of games and time.
If a change was in the mind of the board, then it should have occurred at least prior to the Forest Green game if not before that to give a new boss at least a couple of games breathing space to gain some momentum just as Barnet appear to have, but it seems too little too late to save them.
For the club that once made it to FA Cup Semi Finals back in the late 90’s, if the drop is made into the National League preparations must be made to ensure the club do not become the next York City or Stockport County.
Written by Trevor Knell
Follow Trevor on Twitter @trevk37
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