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Lester: "It gives the lads belief."

25 February 2018

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Chesterfield manager Jack Lester hailed his side’s ability to start on the front foot, as they returned to winning ways, with a 2-1 triumph over Swindon Town at the Proact yesterday.

Striker Chris O’Grady gave the Spireites the lead after two minutes, before Andy Kellett doubled their advantage six minutes into the second half. The visitors were reduced to ten men as Ollie Banks saw red for a foul on Louis Reed, before Chris Robertson’s header ensured a nervy end to the proceedings, but Lester’s men were able to hold on and claim three much needed points.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Lester said: “I thought the performance was ok, we managed to get ourselves ahead and after that we spoke about getting the second goal and we got that.

“We managed the game quite well after that, and it was important that at times we took the sting out of the game, the win was the most important thing.

“I thought we started really brightly, we were on the front foot and landed on the seconds really well, got ourselves ahead and that was important.

“It’s good for confidence when you get ahead and it gives the lads belief, and belief will be a key part for the run-in.”

O’Grady was in the right place at the right time, when goalkeeper Reice Charles-Cook punched Kellett’s cross against the striker, with the ball subsequently ending up in the net via the former Burton Albion man.

The goal was O’Grady’s third of the season and Lester hailed his impact on the game.

“I thought he was excellent,” said Lester. “He gives you a focal point and he backs in and wins first contact when we have to go a bit longer.

“So I thought he did really well and I’m pleased for him to get the goal.”

And on the other goal scorer, Kellett, Lester said: “He put everything into it, he cramped up a bit towards the end, but you look for moments where you can isolate ‘Kells’ against the defender.

“I thought he took it really well and once he cut inside there was a little gap in the bottom corner and he’s started it out past the ‘keeper’s hand and curled it back in, it’s a great finish.”

Kellett was one of four changes to the side which lost at Carlisle United last week, with Louis Dodds, Zavon Hines and Drew Talbot coming back into the starting XI following injury.

Those changes caught one or two supporters by surprise, and Lester explained his reasoning behind those decisions.

“I wanted to get some experience back into the team and they’ve trained well as well, we always say to the lads that you must train well to get into the team, and they’ve trained well this week,” he explained.

“They had that know-how and a steady head at times, so that was the reasons behind it.

“I thought goalkeeper and the two centre halves were outstanding today, and Drew just makes good decisions because he’s a good player, he makes it easier for everybody.”

Despite winning the game, results elsewhere mean that the Spireites remain in the bottom two, but the manager still felt that the day was a positive one.

He added: “Port Vale didn’t win and Grimsby Town lost, and we won which is the main thing. Teams around us won, but we’ve pulled Grimsby in by three points and Port Vale by two, so it’s a good day.”

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