Spireites: Dean Saunders confirmed as new Chesterfield boss

Chesterfield vs Crawley -Crawley Boss Dean Saunders - Pic By James Williamson
Chesterfield vs Crawley -Crawley Boss Dean Saunders - Pic By James Williamson

Chesterfield have appointed Dean Saunders as their new manager following Paul Cook’s departure for Portsmouth.

Cook left the Spireites on Tuesday after guiding them to the Sky Bet League One play-offs, where they were beaten 4-0 on aggregate by Preston

in the semi-finals.

Chesterfield announced Saunders had joined on a two-year contract.

Saunders, who has previously managed Wrexham, Doncaster and Wolves, finished the season in interim charge of Crawley but was unable to prevent them from being relegated to League Two.

The former Wales and Liverpool striker took charge of the Red Devils in December after John Gregory stepped down to undergo major open heart surgery.

Crawley’s relegation means Saunders has now taken a team down in three of the last four seasons after being in charge when Doncaster were relegated from the Championship in 2012 and being unable to save Wolves from the same fate the following year.

Saunders won eight of his 24 league games with Crawley but they were relegated on the last day of the season. Gregory announced on Saturday that he would not be returning to the club.

Despite relegation, the West Sussex club were keen for Saunders to remain as manager and talks were planned with Crawley chief executive Michael Dunford for later this week.

Saunders has big shoes to fill after Cook guided Chesterfield to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final, League Two title and a sixth-placed finish in League One during his two-and-a-half years at the Proact Stadium.

Saunders said on the Chesterfield website: “It is a great opportunity as this is a club on the rise, run by good people, and I am inheriting a very good team from Paul Cook.

“Taking over now gives me a full pre-season to make a fresh start, put my plans in place and work with the squad, which is a great position to be in.”