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Defensive Duo Sidelined

1 August 2013

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Manager Paul Cook has confirmed that central defensive duo Liam Cooper and Ian Evatt will miss the opening game of the season against Bury on Saturday.

Cook, who was speaking to Spireites Player, admitted that the game had come too early for the pair.

He said: "There is only Ian Evatt and Liam Cooper that won't make the travelling party. Everyone else is good and ready to go, and hungry to play."

Liam Cooper, who didn't feature in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, has been suffering with a side strain, but the defender looks on course to be fit for the midweek Cpaital One Cup tie at Leeds United. 

Cook added: "He's looking good, he's had rehab training today, he's seen the physios and he's back out training. The likelihood is, he will be available Monday. Obviously we want Liam, and big Evatt back as quick as possible. 

"I think at the start of the season, managers have in mind the starting 11 that they want, and those two lads would be our preferred choice at centre half."

Evatt only arrived at the club at the start of the week, but the Spireites boss has expressed his delight with the attitude of the club captain. 

"We've put Ian with the physio and the rehab stuff now, we're going to give him a couple of weeks at that. He's feels he's got good business to do here. He's come here to get us success, but sometimes we've got to manage that and make sure he does his rehab work and he's ready to go," explained Cook.

Sam Morsy and Jimmy Ryan missed the Sheffield Wednesday game due to injuries, but Cook has confirmed that both players will be ready to face Bury. "They both trained very well today," the boss added.

With Evatt out of the team, Cook revealed that Drew Talbot will lead the team against Bury. He said: "Drew Talbot will captain the team until Ian comes back in. I couldn't speak highly enough of Drew Talbot. 

"I look at all the signings we've made and I'm so pleased we got Drew back. In my opinion, he's not only the best right-back in this league, but I just think he's a top player and we're delighted to have him at our club." 

The manager is well prepared for the trip to Gigg Lane and has revealed to the players who will be playing. "We've picked the team this morning and practiced on our shape, and how we are going to affect the game, both in possession and out of possession," he commented.

"I don't believe in announcing teams at 2pm - we've had a long time to prepare for games. There are a lot of disappointed players who aren't starting, so they are the ones I have to keep happy."

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