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Hird: "It has been a fantastic week."

26 November 2017

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Sam Hird has expressed his delight at the Spireites going unbeaten this week, as he praised the team's performance in their 2-2 draw with local rivals Mansfield Town.

Joe Rowley and Andy Kellett put Chesterfield in front either side of a Hayden White goal, but Stags captain Zander Diamond scored an equaliser with two minutes left at the One Call Stadium on Saturday as the points were shared.

But despite conceding that late goal, Hird insisted it's still been a great seven days for the club. He said: "Obviously we deserved to win this game. We were disappointed coming off the pitch with a draw but I think on reflection it has been a fantastic week and we need to keep our heads held high."

The Spireites dominated second half proceedings but couldn't quite find a third goal which would have wrapped up the game. "I thought second half we played really well - first half I thought it was touch and go.

"Both sides had a go - it was a feisty atmosphere - that's what it's like in the derby. We dealt with everything they've thrown at us, we're just disappointed with that last goal but all in all it's been a good week," Hird reflected.

Manager Jack Lester is no stranger to the rivalry between the two clubs and it was his words at half time that helped Chesterfield get back into things after a nervy end to the first half. Hird stated: "At half time he actually came in and said you know what, we've probably been a bit too calm - raise the tempo, raise the intensity on what we're doing and we'll go on and win the game.

"That's what we did, we thought we'd gone on and won the game and initially it was disappointing to come in with a draw, but on reflection looking at it overall in the bigger picture things are on the up."

The goals the Spireites scored were hugely impressive, with Rowley opening the scoring after nice passing inside the area, and Kellett finding the net following a swift counter attack.

It was Hird who started the break for the second goal, and he commented: "It's funny because in the last game I actually tried to do the same and the lads were all like 'what are you doing, get back' - but I've tried to intercept it and do a bit of link up play down the wing. I've seen Robbie in the middle, I've slid him in and then it's a good goal from there."

Despite conceding two goals in return, Hird was still pleased with the defensive display of the team at Mansfield. "As a team we're defending well. Your back four is helped by those in front of you and since the manager's come in he's raised the intensity in training and on the match pitch.

"Players know what's expected, they know what they can't get away with and when we're pressing like we are doing at the minute and working hard as a front two - a front three and the midfield pushes up behind them it makes our job a lot easier," Hird explained.

The Chesterfield fans were in fine voice on Saturday afternoon, as 1646 supporters made the short journey for the game. Hird was keen to thank them. "They were great today and I think our fans made more noise than theirs did personally - we could hear our fans all the way through. They've been great all season, they've stuck with us and since the new gaffer came in they've got right behind us," he expressed.

The Spireites don't have a game next weekend, but they will be keen to carry on their momentum in the Checkatrade Trophy this Wednesday when they take on Manchester City U21s. "It'll be a chance for the manager to probably give other players a chance but he'll want to win at the same time.

"We want to carry on this mentality of not getting beat - of winning games - and it'll be a bit different playing against a top team like Manchester City," Hird asserted.

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