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Roberts: "Fitness is Everything"

8 January 2015

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With Chesterfield defying the odds to recover from a two goal deficit to force a replay with Scunthorpe United, Gary Roberts gave his version of events.

The FA Cup run looked set to end at the third round stage before a penalty from Eoin Doyle and a late leveller from substitute Jay O'Shea ensured the Spireites will have another bite at the cup cherry next Tuesday evening.

One of the visitor's chief tormentors was Gary Roberts, and the Chesterfield forward felt the comeback was always on.

He said: "It was a good game to play in, we dominated all the second half and a large part of the first half. I didn't think they controlled the game at all and didn't earn the goals they got.

"We felt we deserved at least a draw and send our travelling fans home quite happy."

Despite a positive opening half, the Spireites trailed 2-0 at the interval, but Roberts revealed that there was no panic in the half time team talk, the away side knowing that their fitness and perseverance would get them through.

"There were no raised voices," said Roberts. "The gaffer knew we hadn't played too badly in the first half, but we missed a few chances early on so he said stay patient, keep passing the ball and the chances will come.

"It shows credit to the staff here. Our fitness levels today were unbelievable, we could still be playing now and flowing forwards in sixes and sevens.

"Fitness is everything in the game today. For the young lads coming through and the older lads who need to stay fit and strong, working hard every day.

"This is the hardest working club I've ever played for. The gaffer puts us through our paces day-in day-out and the lads drag each other on. It just shows today when the performance is outstanding."

Those sixes and sevens pushing forwards were soon joined by the quality of O'Shea and Dan Gardner from the bench, and Roberts felt that helped the Spireites make the final push.

He said: "You just felt the ground lift, especially when you've got players like that who can come off the bench. Dan Gardner hasn't played very often recently but you can see him and the ability he's got is unbelievable.

"Him and Jay O'Shea made a big difference to us when they came on. We were dominating the game and when you put that extra little bit of quality on I think it was just a matter of time before we scored."

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