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Cooper Praises Winning Ugly

25 November 2012

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On loan Hull City defender Liam Cooper has heaped praise on his new team-mates for winning 'ugly' after they clinched their third successive maximum point haul inside a week with a smash and grab 1-0 raid against struggling Plymouth Argyle.

Marc Richards' third goal of an injury-ravaged campaign 24 minutes from time moved the Spireites back within just three points of the League Two play-off places, but the visitors had to defend for the majority of the contest in tumultuous weather conditions in Devonshire.

And the 21-year-old centre-back, who opened his account for Town in the 2-1 win against Oxford, was delighted with another clean sheet.

"It was tough going, but I thought we showed great responsibility especially in the first half," he told the club's media team at full-time.

"We had to really dig in and help each other out and defend a lot of set-pieces and we came through that. After half-time, we managed to settle down and play our game and we managed to nick a goal."

Tommy Lee's goal lived a charmed life, especially in the opening period when he denied both Paris Cowan-Hall and Argentine winger Andres Gurreri.

Pilgrims captain Conor Hourihane's volley then cannoned wide following a strong palm from Lee after Gurreri had lashed one in to the side-netting following a neat exchange withOnismor Bhasera.

The last time the Spireites travelled to Home Park in 2004, they were trailing 6-0 at the interval but when Lee was finally beaten, skipper Sam Hird was leading by example as he flicked Cowan Hall's volley over via a lick of paint from his own crossbar.

But in spite of applying a smattering of pressure, the Spireites' barricades stood firm and Cooper was impressed with his side's defending, especially the block from his captain.

"I think it's a good block to be fair, Hirdy reacted well. It's hard when the ball comes at you like that, it happened a couple of times especially when the surface is wet," he added.

"But there were blocks everywhere, it was last-gasp defending. It was ugly, but it was good to come away with a win.

"We didn't manage to pass the ball as well as we could, but you've got to win games like this to get out of the league and it's a massive three points. The biggest of the week I think."

It was the young Tiger's third successive start alongside the 26-year-old stopper between the sticks, but in spite of conceding just the solitary strike against both Oxford United and Cheltenham Town at the Proact earlier this week, it is the first clean sheet since last season's player of the year has returned to the side.

Something of which, Cooper is keen to replicate in the coming weeks.

"Since he's come in, he has proven to be responsible out of possession. 

"Defensively, he helps us get our shape. I think that is showing, we don't look as vulnerable from set-pieces, we're not getting hit on the breakaway and we feel confident.

"It's always good to get a relationship with other players and I think we are starting to react to each other now. It's important that we can bail each other out because no-one is going to have a great game for the whole 90 minutes."

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

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