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Cook: 'Not Getting The Rub of the Green'

26 February 2013

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Paul Cook believes his side can turn around their recent poor form after another disappointing evening at the Proact saw the Spireites held to a goal-less draw with resurgent Aldershot Town.

Neither side could break the deadlock in what was an uneventful 90 minutes at Whittington Moor, as Chesterfield slipped 11 points adrift of the League Two play-off places.

"We started the second half really well," Cookie told Spireites Player at full-time. "Unfortunately, in the first half we weren't good in any shape or form. It was a case of whether Aldershot would score and you're trying your best to tinker and we weren't right.

"You accept that and try and make changes to be positive and certainly Jack [Lester] came on at half-time and gave us a big lift. I thought we started the second half really positively and had two or three attempts in the first few minutes.

"We're not getting the rub of the green, but I do believe we can make it happen. We're not playing particularly well at the minute and it's not dropping for us, but it is a clean sheet.

"Defensively, it's okay but we're not scoring goals and we are trying everything in our power. Our options at the minute are Marc [Richards] and Jack [Lester] and we tried it with Jay O'Shea off Marc, which has worked in that past but unfortunately it didn't tonight.

"We hold our hands up - there'll never be any ducking or diving from me. We're trying everything possible to get that goal and all of a sudden, especially with the young kids, I felt it wasn't a good night for them. The quicker I could get them off the pitch the better, because it was a night for experienced players."

The industrious pairing of Sam Togwell and youngster Craig Clay both sustained knocks in the defeat to table-topping Gillingham so new loan signings Jordan Clark and Alex Henshall were both included alongside Jay O'Shea and Drew Talbot, behind lone striker Marc Richards.

Cook introduced experience in the form of Danny Whitaker after just half an hour, while Lester stepped off the bench at half-time but in spite of the changes the two veterans couldn't provide the crucial breakthrough.

"I thought in the second half we were fine," Cook added. "We were a lot more off the front foot and I thought young Jordan Clark played well. I thought Conor Townsend grew into the game, we looked a threat up front and we had a bit more balance to us.

"We'll just keep plugging away. At the minute it's not happening for us, no-one's trying to hide. The players certainly need a bit more support at times, because going in shouting and screaming at them is all well and good but now and then they need a bit of a lift."

It's now three games without breaching the opposition defence for Cook's charges, although they haven't conceded from open play in the same amount of time.

The Spireites make the journey to managerless Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, before another tricky trip on the road against high-flying Cheltenham Town but Cook is determined to stick to his principles in the hope that his side can clinch their third win in 10 games this calendar year.

"I think Tommy Lee has made a couple of good saves so we must respect that, but the problem is we're not scoring. Rather than keep changing every 30 or 40 minutes, maybe we must decide on what is the way forward and maybe stick to that and give it a chance. 

"We're all putting the effort in, that's for sure. Everyone wants to get there quickly, but sometimes in football it doesn't happen that quick. Our crowd come here on a bitterly cold Tuesday night and they pay good money so they are entitled to their opinion and we respect that.

"It's time that we all stand up and be counted. Sometimes, players need to have a look at themselves and work that bit harder and if you put a bit more effort in you will get that luck eventually."

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

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