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Cook: "It Was a Tough Game."

16 February 2014

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook explained that despite his side's 3-1 victory on Saturday, they struggled to get going against a tough Torquay United outfit.

After a goalless first half, the Spireites went behind in the 50th minute when a Gulls counter-attack was finished emphatically by Shamir Goodwin. But Cook's side rallied and went on to take all three points following an opportunistic strike from Eoin Doyle and a well-taken brace from Jay O'Shea.

Speaking after the game, the gaffer explained how his team struggled to get a foothold in the match. He said: “Unfortunately for us we never got going. We labored, our passing wasn’t crisp, we were passing in the wrong areas, we gave possession away. We were helping Torquay.

“Today was a really tough game. Torquay should take great credit because they frustrated us for a long time. But our lads dug in and I felt like we had good chances after they scored.”

The Liverpudlian explained how he was dreading Saturday's fixture in the build-up because of the expectation that comes with playing a team fighting for their lives at the bottom of the league. “I had fears about today all week, because of the fact that everyone just hands you the win," claimed the manager.

“Everybody in football knows that Torquay were going to prepare well and they were coming here with nothing to lose. If we do win 2-1, 3-1 – it’s as you were.”

After going a goal behind, Cook made a double substitution, bringing on Armand Gnanduillet and Gary Roberts for Ollie Banks and Dan Gardner in an attempt to change the direction of the game. 

He said: “We don’t want to disappoint our lads because our lads like to play, they like to be bright and like to believe in what we’re doing so I can’t disappoint them by just changing it at half time. When Torquay scored, it was a lot easier to change it.

“It was a perfect example of a change of formation being beneficial. It was obvious to me, and I would think everybody in the ground, that we needed to get more physical presence up front."

Though the Spireites boss acknowledged it wasn't his team's best performance, he praised his players for digging in and taking all three points: “Today we haven’t played well and we’ve won 3-1," said Cook before adding: "The lads deserve credit because you’ve got to keep going at this stage of the season.

“My job’s to lead us through these times. Winning will get tough, it will get labored, points will become harder to get and we’ve got to get across that finishing line.”

To watch the full post match interview, log on to Spireites Player.

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