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Smith: "A lot of people put in unselfish shifts for the team"

16 December 2015

The FA Cup campaign is over for another season, but Spireites caretaker Mark Smith saw a number of positives in the penalty shoot-out defeat at Walsall.

A match of few chances finished 0-0 after 90 and 120 minutes and with all five Walsall players converting their spot-kicks in the shoot-out, Sam Morsy's effort over the bar was critical, the Spireites losing 5-3 on penalties.

Despite the eventual defeat, Smith was impressed with the defensive effort of his side, away at one of the stronger teams in Sky Bet League 1.

"It was a game again when we had spells where we were well on top," he said. "They had pressure at times and I thought we handled that really well and our back four was excellent.

"I also thought the likes of Sam Morsy, in front of the back four, blocked off spaces and made life hard for them well.

"A lot of people put in unselfish shifts for the team today, and that can only stand us in good stead."

Smith also said that he felt that his hardworking players should take confidence from their endeavours and take that forwards into Saturday's home match with Bradford City.

" I said to the guys after the game that we need to be more ruthless when we get into good situations. We didn't make that many chances but we had good situations and lots of freekicks in good areas - and we didn't make them count.

"The players can see what can be achieved by sticking together, and that's what they've got to do now as there's only the lads who can get us out of this situation.

"They should be taking confidence out of this performance and then building momentum for the next game, I was pleased with the performance tonight, and the result as well until we got to the penalty shoot-out."

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