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Cook On Rovers Defeat

10 November 2012

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook was left extremely disappointed after his side succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in spite of twice fighting back from behind.

The Spireites got themselves off to the worst possible start in the early-winter sunshine, when Sam Togwell hacked Tom Eaves' cross into his own net after just four minutes but former Arsenal schoolboy Mark Randall hauled the visitors level when his harmless free-kick was helped in by Rovers goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

The on loan Fulham stopper then thwarted Danny Whitaker, Scott Boden and Randall before the break and when he was finally beaten, the woodwork came to his rescue after Togwell's drive thumped the face of the upright. Eaves then hit the base of the post before he supplied Joe Anyinsah to give the Pirates the lead, but Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Brennan Dickinson stepped off the bench to cap a superb debut when his 20-yard rasper flew into the top corner.

But Eaves would have the final say, as his deflected shot inadvertently cannoned off the shins of Terrell Fobes and left a stranded Richard O'Donnell with no chance.

"We looked good on the eye at times and created a hell of a lot of chances in the game but to come away and say we haven't got anything is disappointing," Cook told Spireites Player at full-time.

"Unfortunately, when you give goals away you lose games of football. You can't concede goals at the stages of the game we did today, giving the home team a massive lift, and giving us the mountain to climb that we couldn't.

"Unfortunately for us, we must respect coming away from home you can't be getting beat like that, you just can't. 

"We lost a couple of games like that to Barnet, Fleetwood and Dagenham in similar fashion where we are well in the game and creating chances and we go on to lose the game. It's a pattern and one that must come from the players. They get direction from me and the staff, but they must do better and improve. 

"It's something obviously we'll have to work on, we'll have to work on mentality now. We'll go away, look at the performance and try and come back better."

The result leaves the Spireites staring at the wrong end of the table after 17 games, seven points adrift of the play-off places but just six points away from the foot of the table currently occupying 18th place.

Oxford United are the next visitors to the Proact Stadium, where Chesterfield haven't won in their last four attempts in League Two, a run which stretches back to the 4-3 win over Cook's Accrington in September.

And with his side languishing in the lower reaches of the Football League, the Liverpudlian is fully aware of the task in hand which is facing him.

"We've created a lot of chances, but lost," he said about the defeat to Bristol Rovers.

"It's a time at the club where i've come in and people are looking at us and how we're going to change. First and foremost, anyone who goes out there for us deserves an opportunity and must do well.

"To play for this club in this league, you have got a huge responsibility to win football matches and conduct yourself properly. At the minute, we're in a league position that isn't good enough and it is only us that can change that."

A player Cook brought in during the week, Brennan Dickinson, gave the travelling contingent of just under 400 a glimpse of what they can expect to see during his loan spell with a thunderous strike to square things up at 2-2.

But once again, Cook was keen to stress the team ethic that he wishes his team must encapsulate.

"Brennan's got a lot of energy and a strong left foot. It was his first game in the league and his goal was fantastic, but we win together and lose together. 

"We had fantastic travelling support today, the fans got behind the players today. We want to be a strong club in this league and if we're going to do that we can't come here and lose and say it is good enough."

You can catch Cookie's interview in full exclusively on Spireites Player


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