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Martin looking forward to FA Trophy tie

14 December 2018

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Ahead of Saturday’s FA Trophy tie against Basford United, Spireites manager Martin Allen addressed the media at Friday’s pre-match press conference.

Q: “How has the mood been this week? Obviously a massive result for you last weekend against Salford. Has it been relief in the dressing room? Has it been better this week?”

MA: “Yes it’s been a good week. Obviously, everybody was happy after the game.

“I don’t think anybody within our group was surprised. After such a good performance against Grimsby where we played really well in the FA Cup against a team from the division above.

“It wasn’t a great last 15 minutes, but 2-0 down in the FA Cup it was probably understandable that we were going out.

“It has been a good week and a new signing with Alfie coming in, so that’s been good.

“Charlie Carter can now at last start his rehab. So that’s another good thing.

“All round it has been a good week. Training has been bright, training has been short and sharp.

“Laurence’s (Maguire) operation has gone really well yesterday. We’ve had a brilliant time at the Hospice, meeting the volunteers, the staff, and the patients.

“We all really enjoyed that. Going to the hospital, meeting parents, meeting friends, lucky enough to treasure meeting young people, some of them very poorly.

“Some of them are hoping to get home for Christmas, and some of them maybe not so lucky.

“It’s been a good all-around week of emotion, which brings everybody back down to the ground and realise how lucky we all are.

“With some of the situations going on around the football club when you’re visiting hospices and special units in children’s hospitals, it kind of puts it into perspective a little bit.”

Q: “Following that win, does it feel like light at the end of the tunnel almost?”

MA: “We had only lost one in 13, and that was against a team from the division above.

“It’s not as though we are playing rubbish and I’m sitting here going ‘oh my god it’s terrible and it’s the end of the world.’

“Some of the performances like away at Fylde and away at Billericay in the cup, we’ve shown enough promise to show we are going in the right direction.

“I think everybody has been on side saying they are giving everything they’ve got. They’re fit, they’re well organised, but perhaps there has been some areas where we haven’t been good enough.

“I held my hands up and I was the first to say that I brought the players in, don’t blame anybody else, I brought them in, and some of them haven’t been good enough.

“We’ve got some fresher, younger legs in. I suppose with sticking Levi (Amantchi) into the team, perhaps I left it too long to put him in the team.

“I think with the team not winning and the crowd not too happy, it’s probably not the best time to put a 17-year-old in your team.

“He was 18 when he played last week against Salford. You’d probably be mad to give someone their debut in a game like that.”

Q: “A new signing Alfie Beestin this week, what will he bring to the team?

MA: “I think he is a good player. When Doncaster said he’s available if we wanted him, it was a quick couple of phone calls and we got the deal done pretty quickly.

“He’s looked good in training and did very well last season. He’s a good footballer. Good player. I hope he’s a good signing.”

Q: “There was news last night of a new chief executive being appointed to the club. Do you see yourself working closely with him, or are your roles separate?”

MA: “He starts on Monday so no doubt we will get to meet up on Monday.

“I think it’s vitally important that we work very close. It’s absolutely vital on and off the field.

“I’ve said this for the last couple of weeks, on and off the field, the supporters, the players, the staff and everybody are united as one.

“It’s got to be; it can only be the way for the best of the club going forward.

“Hopefully, the supporters are happy that there’s been a change. I’m well aware that the supporters have wanted a change.

“They’ve got a change, and hopefully now the supporters will get behind him.

“I will say to the supporters to get behind Graham, and we will both do the best we can to pull it all together.

“I think change had to be made, it’s been made and now hopefully we can go forward.”

Q: “Do you have a message for the fans? Obviously, there is a gathering that maybe taking place outside the ground before tomorrow’s game. Do you have a message for those fans?”

MA: “They are entitled to do that. Mr Allen owns the football club, but it’s their club.

“Football clubs are always the supporters’ club. I’m sure everybody has to respect that.

“There has been a change this week, he has implemented a change and he’s acted swiftly.

“He’s put something in place now for change, and now we have to let that change take place.

“If the supporters, the people that pay aren’t happy they can shout what they like.

“You are entitled to your opinion. As long as there is no trouble or hassle, then people can say and write whatever they like about us because I’m in a position of responsibility to make the club good.”

Q: “Basford United this weekend. What do you know about them and a fixture with a local edge to it?”

MA: “It’s a local derby. It’s only an hour away.

“If the supporters are outside and do what they need to do. I’m hoping they come into the stadium with more infectious enthusiasm and the love for their club.

“We’ve watched videos of their last couple of games. They are very well organised. I worked with their manager at Notts County where he was involved in the community schemes.

“They are very good on set plays with two attacking full-backs. They’ve got a very good centre-forward.

“They’re a very decent team. We’ve got to be at our best.”

Q: “Is the FA Trophy a competition that you’re taking seriously?”

MA: “We will play our best team and try to win as many games as we possibly can to bring some happiness back to Chesterfield Football Club.

“I went to the final of the FA Trophy last year at Wembley Stadium, and I want to go to the final again.

“I have never led a team out at Wembley Stadium, and to see 30 thousand Chesterfield supporters at Wembley Stadium would be awesome.”

To watch the full pre-match press conference, click here to view the video on our YouTube channel.

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