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Boss Keeps Players Grounded

12 January 2015

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The Spireites prepare for Tuesday night's FA Cup replay against Scunthorpe on the back of a resounding 3-0 victory over Port Vale at the weekend.

Vale manager Rob Page described Chesterfield's display as one of the best performances he’d seen in League One this season, but Spireites boss Paul Cook is keeping his players grounded.

“I think it’s very important that we keep our feet firmly on the ground,” said Cook. “I think one of the big things with football is that you can get carried away quickly. You’ve got to have habits at the club which get you doing the same things week in week out and the same things that make you good and strong will see you home and I’m very much into that.

“It’s great to get plaudits like that because we try and play that way. We have a style and a philosophy at the club that I know our supporters have bought in to and the players have bought in to. It’s great when it goes well like it did on Saturday but it can also go wrong and you must make sure you stick to your philosophies at those times as well as in the good times.”

Chesterfield boast a strong squad at the present time and the Spireites boss hopes that it stays that way after seeing some of his players succumb to injury this season.

He said: “The squad has always been strong. It can get stretched because of the availability of players at times but one of the easier things to do is get too high when you’re going well. I’ve had great faith in these players from day one.

“It’s like the striker debate that was around the club at the beginning of the year. If I felt the need that we needed to bring that striker in I’d have been knocking the chairman’s door down because this is my livelihood and my future, but I’ve always had great faith in the squad and what I wanted to do was give this squad a chance to see. Until we see, we won’t know.

“Speaking now in January we’ve seen some great results so far this year and we’ve also had some very bad ones. What I have learnt and what the players have learnt is that we have nothing to fear. The supporters have learnt that now. We go into the rest of the season in great heart but we know we haven’t achieved anything.”

Cook demonstrated the faith he has in his squad in Saturday’s game when, after making the decision to bring on a substitute, he let Dan Gardner and Jay O’Shea decide which one of them would go on.

“We were making the substitutions; I wanted to bring both lads on together. I trust them both that much that we couldn’t bring them both on so I said ‘go away from here and come back and tell me which one of you is going on’ because we wanted to leave one sub until the latter stages. Again it shows the faith I have in them both. At that stage of the game I was happy for both of them to go on but I didn’t want both of them to go on at the same time in case we got an injury so somebody had to wait.

“These lads are ready to play and my hardest job is leaving players off the bench and then making sure with the lads who are left off the bench that their habits are correct. My job is important because modern day footballers now think sometimes that you can sulk and that’s not the way you get back in teams. You work harder and harder and if you’ve got that attitude from Monday to Friday then you’ll eventually get back in the team."

Scunthorpe have signed two new players recently but netiher will be available for the tie and Cook has revealed that at least one of his players will be out but Jimmy Ryan could start despite not feeling 100 per cent.

He said: “Jimmy isn’t happy. We thought it was a hernia and I thought Jimmy looked excellent when he came on with his energy and brightness but he just isn’t happy. We’re going to persevere with it for the rest of the week and play our next few games, hopefully with Jimmy involved and then assess it again next Monday. If Jimmy is still of the same feeling we’ll have to take it further. He’s obviously feeling something but all of the tests and everything we’re doing says there’s nothing wrong with him.

“Hopefully Ian Evatt will be available because you need all your good players. What happens at football clubs sometimes is that when players are playing well you forget how important other members of the squad are and Ian is very important. Charlie Raglan and Sam Hird are playing brilliantly at the minute but it won’t be long until Ian is back in the team and he’ll be playing as well as the rest of them.

“Mani (Dieseruvwe) isn’t available obviously after his first match so there’ll be one or two changes on the bench. All in all we’re all looking forward to it. Ticket sales have been going well for the game and we’re very grateful to the supporters for that because January is a difficult month for people financially and our fans continually find money to come watch us, so thanks very much.”

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