Spireites manager Danny Wilson was not a happy man after the 1-0 defeat away at Port Vale.
There was little between the teams, but Jerome Thomas' deflected goal in the 61st minute settled matters and left Chesterfield heading into the New Year in the Sky Bet League One relegation zone. Further adding to Wilson's mood.
“We’ve had some really strong performances at times this season and come away with nothing, this was another example.” He said.
“I’ve said it many times, I’m sick of repeating myself to often to certain players, they have to take a long hard look at themselves by not winning this game tonight. We’ve come here and we knew we had the ability to cause them problems and win the game - the way the game panned out we should have done and won it convincingly as well – and yet we lose 1-0 by a poxy deflection."
Luck certainly wasn't with the Spireites, who saw striker Ched Evans have an effort cleared off the line after he reacted first to Jay O'Shea's parried effort, while Thomas' winner took a deflection off Ian Evatt before looping over Ryan Fulton and in to the net. However, the manager believes his team should have been more assertive rather than waiting for things to happen.
Wilson said: "Is that bad / hard luck? Yes, maybe the luck is against us, but we shouldn’t have to wait for that to happen, we should be in command of the game goals wise, but that’s not happened.”
Fulton, Jon Nolan and Reece Mitchell all returned to the starting line up as Wilson made three changes to the team that lost at Rochdale on Boxing Day, and Wilson was pleased with their individual efforts.
“They’ve all done well, you can’t say there is anyone who hasn’t," he said. "but collectively we have given them a goal.
"On the ball we’ve been ok at times, poor at times and our set plays were woeful at times – things that we’ve worked on, but you can’t do anything about that.
“You know the players have got the technical ability to do things like that but they just don’t deliver, so that’s the big frustration for me today in that area, we’ve let great situations go without laying any gloves on them, so overall I’m really angry, that was a big game for us tonight which we could have won, and to not win was really annoying."
The Spireites return to action on Monday, when they take on MK Dons at the Proact (3pm), with Wilson calling for his team to give a response in what has become an important fixture.
“If they’ve got any character, bottle or spirit they’ve got to battle and even harder and better than this evening, and they can do that! We saw it two weeks ago against Bolton but we don’t see it enough and we don’t see it week in week out. And if you don’t see that, that’s the problem you’re going to have with the players.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Connor Dimaio missed the match at Vale Park with a knee injury, with Wilson admitting that he will be assessed before deciding whether or not to include him in the match day squad. Wilson also confirmed that no decision has yet been made on whether Conor Wilkinson's loan period will be extended.