Chesterfield midfielder Giles Coke made his first appearance for the club in last night’s defeat at home to Cambridge United and says the players 'have to believe', they can climb up the table.
With all of the bottom three losing on Tuesday, the result keeps Chesterfield in 23rd place, three points behind Crewe Alexandra and two ahead of Barnet.
Speaking to iFollow, Coke said: “We have to believe. If we don’t believe, then we won’t climb the table.
“All the players are disappointed at the moment, like any other team would be when they lose in the last minute, but we’ve just got to stick together. The fact is we are in a relegation battle. People probably don’t really want to hear that, but we are.
“We’re at the bottom and we’ve got to fight. Every single game has to be a cup final. We’ve got to put in performances to win games.”
Reviewing the game, the 31-year-old added: “When we scored the second goal, I believed we were going to go and win the game. When we conceded the penalty, as a team I think we were all deflated. We needed to react and kick on again. I don’t think we did but, saying that, I thought we’d see the game out and take a point.”
Tuesday night wasn’t the first-time Chesterfield had conceded a last-minute winner this season, with a similar situation occurring in stoppage time in the previous home game against Crawley Town.
“I can’t really put my finger on it,” Coke said. “I don’t know if it’s a mental thing, but it’s disappointing. We’ve just got to keep our heads up and keep going.”
Coke, formerly a free agent, made his debut in the 3-2 defeat and insists he has more to offer as a player.
“The gaffer told me I was going to play, so I was prepared. It was a bit emotional as well because it’s been a long time - two years – since I played a competitive game,” said Coke.
“I thought I did alright considering it was my first game. Obviously, there’s a lot more to come from me. As games go on I’ll only get stronger and fitter, but it’s not about me, it’s about the team.
I don’t think we played badly – it was just silly mistakes and a lack of concentration that cost us. We have to stay concentrated for all of the game, and that includes the last few minutes which are vital. That’s one of the reasons why we lost the game.”
Slotting into the midfield alongside Louis Reed, Coke discussed his developing partnership with the Sheffield United loanee.
“Louis is a really great player, but so is Jak McCourt. We’ve got a really good, strong midfield. I don’t think any of us are guaranteed to play to be honest. We’ve got to work hard to keep our shirts and, as I said, keep believing.”
Ahead of the Spireites trip to Carlisle United on Saturday (3pm), Coke gave one final rallying cry to the Chesterfield supporters.
“They will help us massively,” he added. “I understand they’re disappointed and we’re down the bottom, but if they get behind us, that’s only going to lift us.”