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Defensive Duo Return to Training

23 December 2013

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The Spireites have been boosted by the return to training of defensive duo Liam Cooper and Nathan Smith ahead of the hectic festive programme.

Speaking to Spireites Player, manager Paul Cook said: "Hopefully the likes of Liam Cooper and Nathan Smith will join in with training today, which should see them in the squad for Thursday's game, which is great for us."

In an interview to preview the Boxing Day game against Hartlepool, Cook revealed that he had to resist the temptation to bring on Sam Morsy in Friday night's game at Exeter. "It was tough not to put him on because with the game being so scruffy and ugly, it would have suited Sammy," he said. 

"That's not being disrespectful to Sammy because we think he's a top player. He can handle the ball and he's physically strong and aggressive in his play. He's had two or three days' training and he hasn't really gone to that extra level in terms of pushing his injury. In my opinion, it would have been too quick to put him back in. He's now going to get another week's training and I'm sure he'll play sooner rather than later."

Cook is also hoping to have Gary Roberts back soon. He said: "Gary had a little setback last week when I probably pushed him a little too hard. It's not something I normally do but he was showing good signs in training and I wanted him on the coach to Exeter. Fingers crossed, we might see him involved over Christmas, looking more to the Cheltenham and Northampton games, rather than Hartlepool and Dagenham."

The manager is delighted to have some key players back in the frame. "Having everyone fit and available gives the manager great headaches," said Cook. "They're not headaches really because all we want is everybody fit and available to play. We can then take it from there in terms of how we play and who we pick."

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