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Lester Reflects on Stags Defeat

15 April 2018

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Chesterfield manager Jack Lester says that he shared and understood the disappointment and frustrations of the Spireites supporters, following the 1-0 loss at home to local rivals Mansfield Town yesterday afternoon.

A goal in the second half from Stags defender Mal Benning, settled the contest, which was often a tense occasion. And saw few chances created at either end.

Speaking to iFollow a dejected Lester said: “Of course we’re going to go to the end. You could sense their disappointment and frustration.

“That’s a big game against their rivals and there’s needle in that game, and rightly so because of the past. That’s the first time I’ve lost to them and it doesn’t feel good.

“It was a tight game, we didn’t create enough chances, we had opportunities to get at people and we didn’t take those.

“I felt quite comfortable with them, I thought Evo [Ian Evatt] and Loz [Laurence Maguire] were excellent, they’re a good front two and we managed to keep them quiet. But in doing that, you need your offensive six, or four at least to get something or at least create something and we didn’t.”

“I think 0-0 would’ve been about right, I don’t think neither side did enough to score a goal. Then in the second half they have one which deflects in to the corner. They had one in the first half, and we had one with Denno [Kristian Dennis] and then Zav [Zavon Hines], when he should’ve been sharper getting onto the bits, and that was the game.”

Evatt returned to the side, after four months on the sidelines with a knee injury, along with George Smith, and Hines, as the manager made three changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Morecambe in midweek.

“George has been patient, and it wasn’t a good defensive performance at Morecambe, which pushed our hand with Evo, who was outstanding and I thought he was our best player,” Lester explained.

“I was quite surprised physically, with how he managed the game, and he was pretty much faultless. To say how long, he’s been out and I thought Loz alongside him did well. And had we attacked better, we’d have not had to defend as much.

“It’s not like they peppered us or they wore us down, it was just we needed that first goal.”

Defeat against their rivals, along with results elsewhere not quite going in the Spireites’ favour, sees them remain at the bottom of the Sky Bet League Two table.

The Spireites dressing room, was understandably despondent after such a loss, and Lester must now look to lift his team ahead of Tuesday night’s clash with Exeter City (7.45pm).

“That’s been my job since I came in, I’ve had to lift the players,” he said. “But whatever you say you have to get performances.

“And that’s the key, we haven’t had enough performances, we’ve shown at times that we can win games and we’ve had some top performances, but we’ve not been able to back that up. And not knowing what you’re going to get has been a problem. And that’s the headscratcher that toils in my mind.”

The rearranged match at St James’ Park has taken on greater significance, with Town having only taken one point from the last 12 available since beating Notts County last month.

And Lester has hinted that there could be changes to his starting XI for the trip to Devon.

He added: “We’ll need to freshen it up about, it’s the last Tuesday game for a bit, then we have a break for the week.

“We’ll see how Evo is, it was unlikely that he’ll be able to go Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday, but we’ll see how everyone is tomorrow (Sunday).”

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