DEAN HOYLE would like to see Town playing “fearless football” again in front of their own fans – and Lee Clark is in absolute agreement.
The boardroom chief and his manager – who has recalled Jamie McCombe from his loan at Preston – are looking forward to Monday’s visit of basement club Chesterfield to the Galpharm, calling on the fans to play a big part in achieving a win.
Hoyle believes the 4-4 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough was vital and Clark, too, who is without suspended skipper Peter Clarke against John Sheridan’s side, says Town must be vibrant on Monday.
Final preparations will take place in training on Christmas Day and Hoyle said: “I firmly believe we are back on track and that result at Hillsborough was very important.
“If we had lost, it would have been 43 unbeaten and three defeats on the trot, which would have been very hard to stomach.
“More importantly, people would have started doubting us for no particular reason because, when things take a turn like that, that’s what happens. With the way it turned out, walking away from Hillsborough felt like a win and it shows the determination and resolve we’ve got to come back in very, very difficult circumstances.
“Now it feels like we’ve been buoyed, we are back on track again and I can’t wait to go into the holiday fixtures knowing we are right on the tails of the top two.
“We are only four points adrift at the moment and that gap can be closed very quickly, so we can’t wait for the Boxing Day game against Chesterfield.”
On home performances, Hoyle added: “Our better performances have come away from home, so it would be great if we could go back to the form of 24 months ago at the Galpharm, when we were demolishing teams at home, playing fearless football and putting teams to the sword.
“In past seasons we’ve had exceptional away form when people might say we’ve not been so good at home, then we’ve had brilliant form at home and not been able to match it on the road.
“If we’d got them together we would be a Championship club by now, and we have to think about that.
“At home, personally I think we’ve just got to go for it and put teams under the cosh.”
Clark says no-one should assume Chesterfield – who are looking for a first win in 13 League I outings despite success in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – are there for the taking and says the players will need every assistance from buoyant support.
“Chesterfield are a good attacking team and John Sheridan has always played with the principle of getting the ball down and going at teams,” said Clark.
“We got rid of the (last home) performance against Bournemouth with that terrific display against Sheffield Wednesday and now we are looking forward to the holiday period, which gives us the chance of getting some points together again.
“I know John and his staff very well and we know what they are about, so we will need to get going from the first whistle.
“With that in mind, we need the supporters hugely. I think everyone knows when the fans get behind the players at home from the first minute and give their terrific support it gives everyone a huge lift.
“We all revelled in that huge atmosphere at Sheffield, which was created by a tremendous turnout of our supporters, and we need to replicate that at home.
“Don’t turn up thinking it’s going to be an easy three points because football’s not like that. Get behind the team and help push them towards those three points. The fans have just as important a part to play as the players.”