Chesterfield FC youngster Laurence Maguire has set his sights on cementing a first team place under Jack Lester.
Maguire has started the last four games for the Spireites and is keen to nail down a shirt as well as do his best to help the team move up the table.
The 20-year-old defender signed a two-year deal last summer and endured a “frustrating” first half to the season, but is optimistic about the months ahead.
He said: “I’m very happy to be playing. It’s been a bit of a frustrating season for me. From the end of last year I thought I’d come into the season and play games.
“Not to play the first part of the season was a bit frustrating and now I feel like I’ve proven myself in the past few games to keep the shirt and to keep playing.
“I signed for two years in the summer. I felt like I wanted to stay at the club and try to play as much games as possible.
“Now my aim is to try to keep playing games, keep the shirt and hopefully stay in the side for the remainder of the season.”
New signings this January transfer window have helped to bolster Chesterfield’s squad as Lester looks to guide the club away from the League Two trap door.
“The gaffer’s brought in a few players and I think they’ve all looked really good.
“I feel like if we keep everyone and everyone settles then we will go on a run and get ourselves out of trouble,” said Maguire, who has seen the changes made by the manager first hand.
“There’s been a lot of changes under the gaffer,” he said. “The standards are going up and you can obviously see that with performances on the pitch.
“When he first came in I had a bit of an injury but I’ve come back from that, been working hard on the training ground and in the gym with the fitness coach.
“The staff and everyone around the club are doing everything to keep us all fit and healthy. When he first came in the menu changed, the food changed, he changed the plate size and we had smaller portions.
“We’re in the gym three days a week now and we’re getting fitter and healthier and I think it’s working.”
Consecutive wins over Luton and Yeovil came to an end on Saturday in a narrow defeat at home to Stevenage and Maguire said there was little between the teams.
“It was very frustrating,” he said. “I was speaking to Sid (Nelson) after the game and we were saying that we didn’t have much to do.
“They didn’t create many chances and they only had the set piece that hit the post. The mistake probably cost us the point but now it’s time for us to move on and we’ve got a big game against Crawley on Saturday.
“We’re all focused on that and to try and get the three points.”
Chesterfield beat Crawley in the reverse fixture on 17th October to give Lester his first league win as Spireites boss and Maguire is hoping they can complete a season’s double on Saturday.
“Crawley struggled at the start of the season. We went there and took all three points. We want to try and get the points again on Saturday and climb the table,” he added.