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Evatt Runs Rule Over Defence

25 September 2014

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Despite two exciting and encouraging away performances last week, the Spireites defence conceded six goals and skipper Ian Evatt is keen to turn things around.

In earlier matches of the campaign the Spireites didn't concede the goals they have more recently, and Evatt isn't sure where the recent fragility has come from.

He said: "I wish I had the answer really- for whatever reason we're conceding sloppy goals. 

"We're not getting carved open from open play and we're not conceding chance after chance, it's just momentary lapses in concentration at set pieces or from balls in the box and it's something we need to look at." 

Lapses or not, the situation hasn't been helped by a catalogue of defensive injuries that have destabilised the backline.

Evatt said: "It's not been easy with the amount of injuries we've had in the back four. Daniel Jones is out, Georg Margreitter came in and was then quickly out again, then Charlie Raglan and Ritchie Humphreys have come in. 

"It's not been easy with the changes, but there are no excuses from our point. We've worked hard on it this week and hopefully we'll be able to keep it tight come Saturday."

Regardless of the struggles, the captain and Tendayi Darikwa have continued to build their strong relationship on the right of the defence.

Evatt said: "It's important that you have partnerships on the pitch. Especially the left side of the defence has been affected heavily the last few weeks. We're getting a few back now, so that will change again.

"Tendayi and I have played together for some time and formed a good partnership on that side of the pitch, but the other half has changed every week. 

"Hopefully now that can change and when Sam Hird comes back we'll go back to keeping more clean sheets."

Evatt feels sympathy for the players drafted in and asked to fulfil difficult defensive responsibilities.

He said: "It's not easy, you feel sorry for the lads coming in to replace the injured players and being thrown in at the deep end. 

"Ritchie's been out for a while and it's not easy, I can vouch for that myself coming back from a long injury, it takes a while to find your feet again."

With the next match at home to Notts County on Saturday, Evatt hopes hard work in training and a return to the Proact will have a positive effect on his defence.

He said: "Make no bones about it, Preston and Doncaster are good sides and they have some very good players who can hurt you in certain areas. So it was difficult for those coming in and they weren't of our better defensive days. 

"We need to get back to the training pitch, work hard and train hard and hopefully the things we've spoken about as a group will change on Saturday."

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