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Lester: "We played well."

29 October 2017

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Chesterfield manager Jack Lester believes that had his team not got something out of yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Carlisle United at the Proact, it would have been an unfair reflection on the game.

Striker Kristian Dennis scored an 84th minute equaliser – his 10th goal of the season – to secure a point after goals from United’s Danny Grainger and Richie Bennett had overturned Jak McCourt’s opener in the first half.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Lester said: “We played well except for 20 minutes in the second half where we just lost composure, we were a bit edgy.

“I thought we did well to regain our composure and get something and we finished the game really well, we had the better chances in the afternoon and it’s another one that slips away from you.

“We got ourselves in front and nudged a very tight first half, we were quite solid and so were they, but we opened them up now and again.

“It was a good goal and free kick and we were pleased to go into half time a goal up. We came out in the second half and we were just a bit edgy and on the back foot, we spoke about not doing that and we didn’t do it, they got up a head of steam and the game’s going away from you and then one or two rolled their sleeves up and the fitness levels in the last 20 minutes were excellent, they kept going and I think that the improved fitness levels got us something in the end.

“We hit the post and the bar, the ‘keeper has made two point blank saves where he’s not even seen it and Chris O’Grady’s had one flicked over the bar at 2-2.

“It was one of those where if you’re top of the league you probably go and win 4 or 5-2.”

Since Lester’s return to the club, the players have been working hard on the training pitch undertaking double sessions on numerous occasions.

One of those sessions took place at the open training session last Tuesday, with Lester pleased with how the players are responding, though he insists there is still more hard work to be done.

“The fitness levels were excellent,” he asserted. “We started the game six points adrift we’re now five, so we’ve gained a point on a few teams and we’re looking up. The performances have been good recently and they’re going to keep improving.

“I told the boys to get ready for another week, they’re not going to be where we’d like them to be in terms of fitness for another month and we’ve spoke about that, we have some great time on the training ground to really go for them and I think the lads are looking forward and buying into it.

“The way we spoke after, they said they felt good going into the last 10 minutes and that’s nice to hear and it’s nice that when games are going tight you can turn to your energy levels and get something out of the game.”

The manager also praised the Town faithful, who gave the team superb backing throughout the afternoon.

Lester added: “They were fantastic yet again and I really appreciated what they did for us when we were 2-1 down, because if they’d have turned on us it would have been difficult for the players.

“But they got right behind them and the players got another lease of life and the energy really came from the fans at times. We do our work on the training ground in terms of physical fitness but you can get some energy off the crowd when they’re like that and I think the players felt the benefit of it.”

The Spireites’ next fixture is away to Bradford City in the FA Cup first round next Saturday, November 4 (3pm).

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