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Lester: "It was a real collective."

14 January 2018

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Chesterfield manager Jack Lester described his team’s performance in the 2-0 win over Luton Town at the Proact as 'outstanding'.

First half goals from Joe Rowley (19) and a Jak McCourt penalty (25) secured a much needed three points for the Spireites, who moved out of the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone with the win.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Lester said: “The energy was top, top drawer and then we got ourselves two ahead – with some great football by the way – and defended really well.

“We limited them to not very much and it was quite a mature second half [performance], there were too many outstanding performances to mention, it was a real collective today, superb.”

On Rowley’s goal, Lester remarked: “What a goal that was! Energy, purposeful passing, people on the front foot, the ball never really coming above knee height, it was the standout moment of the game.”

The win over the table topping Hatters, was later named the ‘Performance of the Day’ by the EFL and was also extra special due to the amount of injuries the squad is facing.

And Lester declared himself proud of the way his players responded to such adversity.

“A lot of the players here are improving.” He said. “We’ve had a difficult time, because when you’ve got injuries you’ve got to get that understanding as you haven’t had much time together, especially before the last game.

“But they’ve had a really good week’s training and I thought the spirit and mental toughness was really good and that was encouraging. I expected them to be mentally tough, but they were showing signs today of real strive in that area, mental toughness is massive in football and in sport, so I was really pleased and intrigued with the mental toughness they showed today.”

One of the injuries that the Spireites are currently dealing with is that of top goal scorer Kristian Dennis. The 14-goal hitman missed out yesterday and Lester provided an update on his fitness.

“He had a little calf injury, he’s had it before and it was too risky today, we could have lost him for five or six weeks and I think that was the right thing to do,” he commented.

Results elsewhere ensured that Town climbed out of the relegation zone and while Lester was happy with that, he advised his players that there is still a lot of work to be done.

He said: “We’re trying to progress this group of players and progress this football club forward, we can’t be looking at getting too high or too low on points here and there, we just need to be continually be improving standards and performances in the football club.

“Results are great, but if we’re progressing in terms of the quality then that’s what’s key at the minute.”

Finally, Lester praised the superb backing of the Chesterfield supporters, who stayed with the team throughout the match.

He added: “They sensed at the right times when to make some noise and when to get behind us, it was a mature performance from them.

“They got us going at the right times, when it was time for the players to dig in they recognised that and got behind them.

“They were as much to do about the three points as anybody.”

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