Chesterfield manager Paul Cook praised his side’s honesty and effort as they claimed a vital victory with a 1-0 Proact win over Walsall to keep their hopes of a play-off place alive.After last week’s disappointment against Peterborough United, the Spireites responded by claiming all three points thanks to a late headed goal from defender Sam Hird in a tight and cagey affair. The victory means Chesterfield sit just two points off a play-off position.
Speaking after the game Cook said: “Credit to the players today, their honesty and effort was there in abundance. It wasn’t a good game and it was a tough game for supporters to watch.
"Walsall probably deserved a draw but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. We were the victims of that last weekend at Peterborough.”
Cook did admit he felt the players were not at their best despite the win and that keeping the players fresh could be important for the rest of the campaign.
“The lads were flat today and never got going," he said. "I am going to try and freshen it up this week. The most important thing for us now is freshness for the rest of the season as results will put us in a very strong position.”
“Our supporters were terrific second half and we tried to bring on some fresh legs up front and add a bit more physicality. Sometimes I think when it's meant to be, it's meant to be and it was our day today.”
Hird’s 86th minute winner was the defender’s second goal of the season and Cook was pleased to score from a situation in which the Spireites have struggled in recent weeks.
He said: “We had a massive physical advantage over Walsall so it was just about hitting an area and people attacking it with a desire to score.”
With just eight games to go and a pivotal game against fellow promotion chasing candidates Bradford City on Tuesday, Cook is keen for the players to continue in the same fashion.
“We need to just keep going," Cook continued. "With the games ticking down now, I believe we have the ability to go, play and win games.”