Speaking ahead of Chesterfield's Sky Bet League 2 trip to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, Spireites boss Paul Cook was feeling positive about his return to the Crown Ground.Cook's side make the journey to Lancashire six points clear of fourth place and have the opportunity to strengthen their position in the League 2 promotion places with a good result at the gaffer's former club.
The Liverpudlian spoke highly of Stanley but knows there is no room for sentimentality as the Spireites will be doing all they can to earn three points. He said: “It’s a really good club in English football. I certainly hope they don’t get drawn into a relegation battle. I wish James and all his staff every success because it’s a difficult club to manage.
“We’re going there to win a football match and we’re all very focused and determined to do that. We’re going to go and pick a very attacking team on Saturday, like we always do. We’re going to go and try to score some goals and win the game.
“If you disrespect any team in this league the likelihood is you’ll get beat, we try our best not to. We haven’t got a great record at Accrington so we go there on Saturday fully focused.”
Saturday's game comes just five days after Chesterfield were held to a 0-0 draw at home to a defensive Portsmouth outfit. But the manager believes his players deserve praise for their work ethic against repeatedly difficult opposition.
He explained: “I think our lads are doing really well and should be patted on the back because that doesn’t happen to a lot of teams but it happens to us regularly.
“I appreciate the fact that we must be better, we must do something to overcome it – we hold both our hands up to that but I still take great credit in the way my team plays and our club plays.”
With just 12 games of the Sky Bet League 2 season remaining, Chesterfield remain in pole position and Cook maintains that the club are well on course to achieve their goals. “We’ve been fully on target from game one, we’re still fully on target after 34. The targets don’t change," commented the 47-year-old.
“Getting to that finishing line is so important for everybody: Me, the players, the staff, the people that work at the club – we all want promotion. It doesn’t mean we’re going to get it but we work hard towards it.”