"get behind the team"

from the Derbyshire Times website www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk

Jamie Ward has issued a parting shot after his big-money move to Premier League hopefuls Sheffield United.

The striker was delighted with his £330,000 switch to Bramall Lane but after glancing over his shoulder said: ''I cannot speak too highly of the Chesterfield fans who have been great for me over the last two years.

''Now they need to get begind the team and help them move towards their ambition which is the play-offs and promotion. They really need to back the lads.''

Ward (22), who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Blades, acknowledged that some supporters had been critical of the Spireites this season.

''I know the situation and everyone is aware that some supporters aren't happy with a couple of things.

''I know they pay their money to go to the games and that makes them entitled to their opinions, but it is never nice coming off the field to boos.

''They really do need to get behind the team. When Chesterfield fans are in good cheer there is nothing like playing in front of them,'' he said.

This season's leading League Two scorer Ward, who cost Chesterfield £100,000 when he moved from Torquay, said he had mixed emotions above leaving Saltergate.

''It's tough going because the changing room is great and the other lads know how I love them.

''But United are challenging for the Premier League and the move was too big to turn down. I'm also settled where I live and their training ground is only a 35-minute drive away for me,'' he added.

Ward has found the net 16 times this season and turned down a new two-year contract with Chesterfield. It was initially thought that he was on his was to Championship outfit Barnsley when the Oakwell club and Chesterfield agreed a £400,000 move but Ward could not agree personal terms.

His final match for the Spireites was in the 3-1 victory at Chester. In a total of 74 appearances, he scored 31 goals.

Blues manager Lee Richardson said Ward would be a hard act to follow.
''It will be difficut to replace him. In some ways he is unique. We may have to adapt and be different. But I am still looking for new players.'' he said.

The initial fee for Ward could rise to £400,000 and the Blues have negotiated a 15 per cent sell-on clause.