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McGinn: "We made it hard for ourselves from the start."

15 April 2017

Paul McGinn reflected on an afternoon to forget for the Spireites, which all but condemned the club to relegation from Sky Bet League One.

Chesterfield had to play with just 10 men for over 45 minutes against Southend United, after Dion Donohue was sent off, but the right-back felt the players only had themselves to blame after a poor start to the game. 

“It was difficult, but we made it hard for ourselves from the start,” he said.  “We never played or passed it well. 

“We knew they were going to have a strategy, be physical and play off second balls and they did it pretty well but we never picked up the ball, broke or passed it well enough. Before then they were the better team and after the sending off, it made it worse.” 

Despite the comprehensive score line, there was little to separate the two teams in the first half with the penalty that gave Southend the lead the only real chance either sides. 

The Scot gave his verdict on the decision but admits that despite still being in the game going into the break, the first half display wasn’t good enough. 

He told Player HD: “They weren’t really creating much, they get the penalty but I said to the referee ‘he got the shot away, if that goes in do you pull it back?’ but I can see why he’s given it. 

“It’s a simple move, they’ve got a runner from a long ball. There wasn’t a lot in it but we never threatened and you only win games by scoring goals.” 

The other, and arguably, most significant incident was Donohue’s 43rd minute red card and McGinn felt that the 23 year-old was always risking a dismissal. 

He said: “I was too far away from it to be honest but it looked like the ball got away from Dion a little bit. I think he’s going for the ball but football these days you can’t lift your leg high and you’re running the risk but he’s gutted in there.” 

The defender has been a welcome boost since his return just under four weeks ago, but he gave an honest evaluation of both the teams and his own individual performance. 

“Where we are the confidence isn’t there and it’s a bit low. That’s where you need to be better but I thought that was as bad as I’ve been in professional football for a long time,” he added.

Chesterfield travel to Scunthorpe United on Monday where a win and a defeat for Bury will keep the Spireites in the league for another week and McGinn is up for the battle.

“It’s massive, it’s a long week if you haven’t got another game. They’ll still be fighting for that second place somehow so we’ve got to make sure they don’t get it,” he commented.