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Cook Remains Upbeat

22 January 2014

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook remained in an upbeat mood despite seeing his side lose a two goal lead in the final minutes of the game to a strong Rochdale side.

All seemed comfortable for Chesterfield as Gary Roberts and Marc Richards had put the Spireites in the ascendency. However, with only minutes of the game left, referee Andy D’Urso awarded Dale a penalty and brandished Richards with a red card for an alleged handball on the home side's goal line.

Ian Henderson slotted the ball past Tommy Lee and in the dying seconds, Peter Vincenti met the wingers cross to salvage an equaliser for the second-placed side.

Speaking to Spireites Player, the manager said: “I think the important thing was that we looked for a response from Saturday’s defeat and we certainly got that in abundance tonight. We’ve played really well tonight against a strong Rochdale side but unfortunately we haven’t seen the game out. 

“We looked decent tonight and a threat. I thought about introducing Dan Gardner but nothing was happening in the game. I just felt Armand’s physicality could help us out a bit but it all happened in a blink.

“We played well tonight but the harsh reality for us is that we only go away with a point. There are a lot of games to play and a long way to go in the season so if we play like that regularly then we will be alright.”

After the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat still fresh in the mind, the gaffer decided to name the same side that faced Southend United.

“I’ve got great faith in the players. We got beat at Southend and I felt if I left any of them out, it would be like I was blaming them,” explained Cook. “We weren’t good as a team on Saturday so they had the right to go and fix that. We looked good out of possession tonight and we looked defensively strong.”

Drew Talbot and Ian Evatt were both substituted in the second half and the 46-year-old explained his reasoning behind the decisions.

“Drew had an abductor problem and the games are coming thick and fast now. As a manager, I’m going to make a lot of decisions about players but one thing I’m saying to the supporters is stick with us. I can’t make every decision right,” said the Liverpudlian. 

“I felt that it was Hogan and Donnelly up front who were looking to run in behind so I felt it was a natural decision to get Sam Hird and Tendayi on the pitch to give us more mobility, rather than physical strength.”

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

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