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We've Got Faith In O'D

6 September 2012

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Chesterfield caretaker manager Tommy Wright insists that he has got faith in goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell, with the former Sheffield Wednesday stopper in line to make his first league start for the Spireites against his former club York City on Saturday afternoon.

O'Donnell is likely to deputise for Tommy Lee, after last season's Player of the Year fell awkwardly after claiming a cross in the closing stages of the 2-1 win against Paul Dickov's Oldham Athletic and after having seen a specialist, the 26-year-old will be out between six to eight weeks with shoulder ligament damage.

O'Donnell is yet to make his first bow for the Spireites, after having featured during pre-season but the temporary boss is confident in the 23-year-old's ability.

"The news is a bit good and bad really," Wright said about Lee's injury.

"It could be six to eight weeks, he doesn't need surgery but he's damaged a ligament across the top of the joint. So that's a bit of a worry, but the surgeon is quite confident he'll recover without surgery, so that's a plus. But obviously missing him is a minus, because he's a good goalkeeper.

"O'D [Richard O'Donnell] was brought in to push Tommy and to try and challenge for that number one jersey and now he's in possession of that. Mark [Crossley] has got a lot of confidence in him as a goalkeeper, so this is his chance and it is a good opportunity for him."

O'Donnell began his career with the Owls and made 15 appearances at Hillsborough, before joining York City on loan. He didn't make any appearances for the Mistermen, however, before he moved to Buxton in the Northern Premier League. O'Donnell made just two appearances for the Bucks, before further loan spells at Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic, Grimsby Town, Alfreton Town and Macclesfield Town.

He was released by Dave Jones at the end of the 2011/12 campaign and was snapped up on a one-year deal at the Proact Stadium by former boss John Sheridan, who had taken him to Boundary Park in 2008. The youngster featured against AFC Telford United and Alfreton Town in pre-season and Wright revealed his defenders will have to get used to passing the ball back to Richard's left-foot, rather than Tommy's right.

"To be fair, there's a few passed to Tommy's left foot at times, so they might get it right this time! I'm sure he'll do well, he's a confident lad with lots of ability and we've got faith in him."

Wright also told Spireites Player that the coaching staff were exploring various avenues in order to bring in a replacement while Lee is sidelined.

"We're trying," he added.

"But if people do want to let goalkeepers go out on loan - especially young and upcoming goalkeepers - they want them to play. We're trying one or two avenues to get somebody in, but if not we'll have to go with what we've got.

"Josh Barrington hasn't trained yet from his shoulder injury, so he's not in the equation. It's a situation we'll have to rectify over the next couple of days.

"If you've got a chance of getting in the team, you should train properly and when you get that chance, you should take it. A couple will probably get a chance on Saturday. We've just mentioned Richard O'Donnell, it's his big chance for him and i'm sure he'll take it."

.You can catch Tommy's full interview exclusively on Spireites Player

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