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Lester: "It gives you belief."

26 March 2018

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Chesterfield boss Jack Lester says that yesterday’s 3-1 win at home to Notts County will give his squad the belief that they are capable of going on a good run.

Sid Nelson gave the Spireites the lead at the Proact Stadium in the 16th minute, with his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Millwall, before Zavon Hines doubled our advantage before half-time. 

Dan Jones did pull one back for the away side with around five minutes of normal time left to play but Kristian Dennis converted from the penalty spot in injury time to ensure a well-deserved three points. 

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Lester said: “It was superb. I think from start to finish, we really stifled Notts County and stopped them from playing. 

“I thought when we had the ball, we played some brilliant football today. The players can be really proud of themselves, it was an excellent performance. 

“It gives you belief. We could have scored a number of more goals. We kept a side that is going for automatic very quiet. They have good experience with (Jon) Stead and (Shola) Ameobi. 

“The energy that we produced will hold us in good stead because you get yourself fitter when you play at that tempo.” 

The Spireites have had a number of injuries and suspensions to contend with in recent weeks and Lester feels that the fact players are now starting to return is having an impact. 

“I think it helps when we have got a fuller squad,” Lester said. “I think we had that today. We had strength on the bench. It is the first time since I have been in that we have left anyone off the bench who can consider themselves unlucky.

"The belief is the big thing today. I think with the results going (our way) yesterday, everyone will have eyes on us and they will see that we are capable of going on a good run.” 

Lester was left delighted with the performance of 22-year-old centre-back Nelson, as well as the rest of his back four for keeping one of the division’s most potent attacks quiet throughout. 

He said: “It was always going to be a tough game for him. I think the front three and four really helped by putting pressure on the ball high up the pitch. 

“All of the back four were really good today. I think Robbie (Weir) screened that space in front really well. I was really pleased with them today.” 

Lester opted to draft Sheffield United loanee Louis Reed back into the starting line-up for yesterday’s game and the midfielder played a key role in the victory. Lester was also left impressed with forward Zavon Hines, who similarly to Nelson, opened his account for the club. 

He said: “I thought Reedy was outstanding. I thought Zavon struggled with the intensity that we work at when he first joined the club and that is not a criticism, that is just what he was used to. 

“I think you can see is getting stronger and sharper. He gave a great performance and the challenge for him is to go and back that up again.” 

A crowd of 6,005 were present at the Proact Stadium yesterday to witness the Spireites claim a vital three points. Lester was delighted to give the supporters something to shout about. 

He said: “The fans were brilliant, they backed us from start to finish. It was nice for us to reward them today. They have not always seen what they want to see. Hopefully they will have gone home happy today. 

“They (the fans) have got points on the board for us at key moments. When the game went to 2-1, I was really pleased with our reaction. 

“I thought we were the team on the front foot, but the fans played their part as well. They did not get edgy, they stayed positive and that helped.” 

Next up for the Spireites is a trip to Vale Park to face Port Vale on Good Friday, with kick-off at 3pm. 

And Lester says that the squad will have a short reflection on yesterday’s win before turning their full attention to that game. 

He added: “We have got training to get through, but I do not think anyone has got injured today which is excellent. We can have a good debrief about this game but really we start concentrating on Port Vale from tomorrow really.”

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