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Cook: 'Hard Work Starts Now'

3 November 2012

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New Chesterfield boss Paul Cook could not hide his delight after his side smashed League One strugglers Hartlepool United for six in the first round of the FA Cup, but he pledged that the hard work starts now as he will look to use the result as a springboard to success.

The former Accrington boss watched from the technical area last week as the Spireites slumped to a 1-0 defeat to rock-bottom Barnet, courtesy of Mark Byrne's last-gasp penalty. But Chesterfield bounced back in emphatic style to record their biggest win against league opposition and reach the second round draw for the first time since 2008.

Scott Boden started the rout after he elegantly dinked Danny Whitaker's incisive through ball over the top of the advancing Scott Flinders before Mark Randall swept home Drew Talbot's cut-back. The former Arsenal trainee turned provider for Craig Clay on the stroke of half-time and Terrell Forbes nudged home his second of the campaign nine minutes after the restart from Whitaker's free-kick.

Anthony Sweeney etched Pools' name onto the scoresheet with a scant consolation, before second-half substitutes Jack Lester and Craig Westcarr completed the rout.

"They did the club proud," Cook told the club's media team at full-time.

"We all follow this club, work for the club, represent the club and that is what it is about, bringing people together. We got great backing from the supporters today, but it was important that the players gave the supporters a lift and they did that.

"It was a good game, a very competitive game. They've obviously got a caretaker in charge at the minute and that can be a difficult time for the club. I'm really pleased for everyone at the club, but we all know the hard work has only just begun. 

"We'll never get carried away with victories, and we won't get too down with defeats. We'll come in everyday, prepare properly and work hard and when we go out there like that, if we show that application we'll be fine."

The former Accrington boss now turns his attentions to Tuesday's short trip to Valley Parade, where the Spireites face Phil Parkinson's League Cup quarter-finalists Bradford. The Bantams booked their place in the last eight after a thrilling penalty shootout win against Premier League Wigan Athletic last week, although they were held to a 1-1 draw with Northampton Town today.

"It was a complete team performance," Cook added. "Our goalkeeper made a couple of really good saves at vital times. When you get players playing well, normally you win games. As a manager, if you're playing well then results will follow and fortunately today we had a lot of good performances. 

"But we'll be back in first thing in the morning, regroup and do the right things to go to Bradford and get a result because that is the most important game now. We should have beat Barnet last week. Let's not kid ourselves, we played okay. Not well enough probably because we lost, but not bad. 

"When that rub of the green goes against you, you've got to work hard and I do believe the harder you work, the luckier you get."

It was the first time the Spireites had beaten league opposition in the FA Cup since that remarkable run to the semi-final in 1997, when Chris Beaumont's goal gave Chesterfield a 1-0 win against Wrexham in the quarter-final.

And after making five changes from the side that were turned over by the Bees, the Liverpudlian was pleased with how the team responded.

"Last week,  they're sitting in the dressing room after getting booed off. It's the same players that went out there today and got the fans on their side, so it just shows what can happen with a bit of enthusiasm, hard work and desire. 

"We set the team up to have two strong lads in the middle of the pitch and I thought Togwell and Clay were excellent. If you supply Whitaker and Randall, they'll hurt you and if you have movement in front of them, we'll score goals."

You can watch Paul's interview in full exclusively on Spireites Player.

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