Former Town striker Tom Denton says Chesterfield’s season starts against Halifax on Saturday as The Spireites bid to beat the drop.
Chesterfield are 21st in the National League after a massively underwhelming campaign, in which they were tipped among the promotion favourites at the outset having been relegated from League Two.
But they have won only five of their 30 league games, and are a point from safety under manager John Sheridan, who replaced the sacked Martin Allen last month.
Denton says the Chesterfield squad is better than their league position suggests though.
“There’s a lot of League One and League Two experience at the club so I’m quite surprised that we are down there,” he said.
“But once you get into a losing habit, it’s hard to get out of.
“But we’re trying to get out of it game-by-game.”
When asked why the season had gone so wrong, Denton said: “It’s one of those things, everything we’ve tried just hasn’t worked.
“But I’ve been saying to the lads that the season starts on Saturday, because if we can beat Halifax, then we can go two points behind them.
“So our 16-game season will start on Saturday.”
Denton is Chesterfield’s top scorer with 10 goals, although only two of those have come in the league.
“It’s gone alright. I think I’ve played 20-odd games, got 10 goals,” he said of his season so far.
“I’m disappointed not to have got more in the league, but I’ve just got to kick on now and hopefully get a few more goals.
“We’ve got to stay in the division.”
To that end, Sheridan was appointed as Chesterfield boss for the second time following the departure of Allen, who won just once in 22 league matches before leaving the club.
“He’s been fine,” Denton said of Sheridan. “He’s just gone about his business how he wants to.
“He seems to be a good manager and I’m very positive we’ll stay in the division.
“He has brought a few strikers in but we need some goals.
“He’s brought Scott Boden in from Gateshead, and he’ll be a good signing, I think he’ll get some goals.
“Hopefully I can chip in myself, whether it’s from the start or off the bench.”
Denton spent two seasons with Halifax, scoring 29 goals in 85 games, and scored Chesterfield’s equaliser in their 1-1 draw at The Shay in October.
“I had a good game against Halifax last time,” he said. “Browny (former Town team-mate Matty Brown) wasn’t playing but I’ve been speaking to him this week about playing against him.
“It’ll be good to go up against him if I get the opportunity.”
When asked what Town can expect from The Spireites on Saturday, Denton said: “We’ve drawn our last few games, but I think we’ve deserved to win most of them.
“We’ll be knocking on the door, we’ll be attacking, and we’ll be strong at the back.
“It’ll be a tough game for both sides I would’ve thought, but it’ll be a good game and I think there’ll be goals.”
Denton added that he sees his future at Chesterfield, despite speculation linking him with a move away from the club.
“I think it’s a bit of social media rumours,” he said. “I think Billy (Heath, former Halifax manager, now at Alfreton) wanted to see what my situation was, but I had a word with the manager and he said I was still in his plans and he didn’t want me to leave.
“I’m hoping to stay here until the end of the season and beyond, and hopefully help them challenge at the right end of the table next season.”