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Cookie Hails 'Scintillating' First-Half

12 January 2013

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook was delighted his side got back to winning ways following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over in-form Northampton Town.

The Cobblers made the short journey to North Derbyshire off the back of three successive wins, a run which has seen Aidy Boothroyd's side become the latest side to join a growing pack of play-off chasing clubs.

But they were blown away inside the opening 25 minutes, courtesy of a brace from Marc Richards against his former employers after Jay O'Shea's opener gave the Spireites their first win of 2013.

"A week is a long time when you get beat in football," Cookie told Spireites Player after the game.

"We feel the disappointment from myself right throughout the club, it spreads. We know what it can give when we win, the feel good factor around the place changes dramatically. 

"It's so pleasing as the manager, because I feel I carry that for people and it's important you know what it means to people.

"All we get is three points, but it's three points in the right direction that's for sure."

The Liverpudlian saw his side begin the new year in disappointing fashion, succumbing to successive defeats on their travels against Accrington Stanley and Wycombe Wanderers respectively in spite of dominating both games and striking the woodwork on four occasions.

Town have a poor record against sides in the lower echelons of the Football League though and their season has been plagued with inconsistency, something which has seen his side lose ground on those sides above them.

But following another important win against a promotion rivals and surprise defeats for Bradford City, Southend United, Fleetwood Town and local rivals Rotherham United, the 45-year-old knows that the Spireites' destiny remains in their own hands.

"This league shows you that you can't just look at games and think, 'we'll be okay'," he said.

"I've just been looking at results from around the country and you see the likes of Bristol Rovers winning at Fleetwood, Barnet won at Rotherham. 

"You have to make it your day, you have to make results happen and we made it happen today. The first-half performance was scintillating in my opinion. We created chances, moved the ball well and coped with what Northampton brought.

"I think it is important that if we are going to be a good passing team who are going to move the ball quickly, it's important we can stand up to a physical challenge and that is a criticism I have levelled at the players."

Right-back Drew Talbot has been an ever-present this season, but he picked up a broken toe in the defeat at Adams Park meaning that skipper Sam Hird moved over to right-back and transfer-listed defender Neal Trotman made his first appearance since the 2-1 defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge.

Former Hull defender Liam Cooper made his first appearance as a permanent Chesterfield player at Whittington Moor following his switch from Championship high-fliers Hull City in spite of missing training this week due to illness and after another clean sheet, Cook was delighted with performances at both ends of the pitch.

"Liam didn't train all week, that is something that people don't see," he added.

"It's not something we want to brag about, Liam has been brought in because we think he is a good player, but now and then you have to dig in and show a bit of character.

"He only trained one day, he wasn't 100 per cent but he didn't play like he had flu that's for sure.

"I don't usually single players out for praise because if you play for a club like this then I expect you to be good. But I thought Neal Trotman was absolutely magnificent today.

"He was a credit to himself, to come back in after being out of the side for so long and give a performance like he did, he deserves a special pat on the back.

"He deserved to come back into the team today because we have leaked a couple of goals at set-plays. He's come back in and put in a manful performance today and i'm delighted for the lad."

O'Shea has made a positive impact since he was borrowed from MK Dons and he capped his permanent switch by opening the scoring with his third goal in eight appearances for the club. It proved to be the start of a rampant 10 minutes for the hosts, which also yielded a brace for ex-Northampton striker Marc Richards.

The 30-year-old has often cut a frustrated figure this term, plagued by injuries and isolation in attack, but after revealing he wanted to hit a purple patch following the defeat in Buckinghamshire, Rico remained true to his word.

The victory moves Chesterfield to within just one point of the play-offs and only five behind the automatic promotion places and after another three-goal haul, Cook will be chomping at the bit to make the long journey to the English Riviera next week.

"I want to play a system that is a very attacking one," Cookie said.

"It is very attacking, people get bogged down with this one up front but we ended up with Randall, Whitaker, Tendayi, Jay O'Shea and Richards on the pitch and if someone tells me that is defensive then I must be in the wrong game.

"But what we want is to have the right balance, the right ingredients that we can open teams up with penetration. We're not there yet and we're not trying to be clever and make excuses, we have good players at this club, all we want to do is get better.

"We certainly need a depth to the squad that everyone at the club should be ready and waiting to play so we can change it. That's all we want, as you have a little bit of change we accept that there is a bit of a problem, but when you win there always seems to be less problems than when you lose that's for sure."

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

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