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Lester: "We've got to learn quickly."

14 February 2018

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Chesterfield manager Jack Lester blamed ‘sloppy mistakes’, after seeing his side lose to a late goal at home to Cambridge United last night.

Lester’s men struck inside the first minute, when Harrison Dunk headed in Chris O’Grady’s cross into his own net.

Uche Ikpeazu levelled matters, before Kristian Dennis grabbed his second with a well taken header in the 55th minute, before an Ikpeazu penalty and Dunk’s stoppage time strike gave the U’s a 3-2 victory.

Speaking to iFollow, Lester said: “We’ve done enough to win the game, it’s sloppy mistakes again.

“It’s little individual errors that we’re speaking about, a bit of discipline, nous and knowing how to see a game out – we’re not doing that at the minute.

“As a professional player you’ve got to learn quick, you can’t be making the same mistake twice, whether that’s not giving away a cheap free kick, not tracking a runner on a give and go, you’ve got to learn quickly.”

The result was even more frustrating given that the Spireites took the lead twice during the encounter.

 “We got the early goal, got ourselves ahead and had we backed that up with another I felt we’d have got out of sight,” said Lester.

“Their goalkeeper has made a good save, we’ve had some good opportunities, but we just couldn’t get that next goal and put the game to bed.

“I thought Cambridge played quite well, put pressure on us and played off the front quite quickly, but at 1-0 and 2-1 up at home you need to be seeing those games out.”

Lester made four changes to his starting XI, with Giles Coke making his debut and Bradley Barry, Joe Rowley and O’Grady all returning to the side in place of Jak McCourt, Dylan Mottley-Henry, Josh Kay and the injured Sid Nelson.

Those changes gave the Spireites a more attacking look and Lester explained his reasons for making them.

“We wanted to give Denno [Dennis] more support,” he commented. “Chris has been doing well in the games he’s played, we felt he could dominate one of the centre halves, which he did, and we’d get first contact.

“It was a home game and we felt it was a good time to get an attacking team out and that it was the right thing to do.”

On Coke’s debut, Lester added: “I thought he was excellent, he had good experience and an understanding of how to win a football match.

“He broke things up and was on the front foot and it was a shame that he went off.”

Meanwhile, both Nelson and Andy Kellett missed the game last night, but Lester is confident of the pair being eligible for Saturday’s trip to Carlisle United (3pm).

He added: “Andy pulled himself out with flu, and then he had a scan on his knee which was fine. Sid’s had a scan and that was fine too, hopefully he’ll be back in contention.”

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