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Whitmore: "The time is now."

29 March 2018

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Defender Alex Whitmore has urged the players to build on last weekend’s win on Good Friday, as the Spireites prepare for a crucial encounter away at Port Vale, 3pm.

The 22-year-old believes that Sunday’s 3-1 win against Notts County was the best performance he has been involved with at the club since he joined on loan from Premier League side Burnley. 

He said: “I would probably go as far to say it was our best performance since I joined. I think it was crucial that we delivered something. I think that was the perfect way to do it. 

“I thought we handled them well (Jon Stead and Shola Ameobi). We watched them before the game and we knew what they were about. We knew what to expect. 

“Thankfully, we managed to cope with them well and limited them to very few opportunities.” 

The defender has formed a very good partnership of late with fellow loanee Sid Nelson, who joined the Spireites on loan from Millwall in January. Whitmore believes their friendship off the pitch has helped contribute to their good performances on it. 

“A massive thing for me between two centre-backs is trust. You have to trust who you are playing with. We get on off the pitch as well,” the former Morecambe man added. 

“We are friends off the pitch which I think is massive. We listen to each other and talk on the training pitch. It looks like something is starting to come together.” 

Twenty-two-year-old Nelson got his first goal for the club in the win over Notts County in the first half and Whitmore has revealed that this is something that the pair have been working on in training. 

“We have been practicing it,” Whitmore explained. We got a fair bit of stick that we were not quite delivering in the opposite box. We have been working on it at the training ground and just getting used to it. 

“We have managed to get one a piece now. In an ideal world, you want five or six a season. 

“The onus is on us a little bit. The set-pieces tend to target us. (Jordan) Brown and (Talbot) Drew can also head the ball well. If anyone can pitch in with anything from a set-piece, then it does really come in handy.” 

Whitmore has been praised on how well he has settled in since his arrival and the defender believes this is due to a similar philosophy implemented by Jack Lester to Sean Dyche at Burnley. 

“I came from Burnley and that is very much the philosophy there. It is always about hard work,” said the defender. 

“Jack and Sean have very similar philosophies and similar ideas on how they want the team to play. I was prepared for it, I was fit.” 

The Spireites have two vital games coming up over the Easter period against Port Vale tomorrow and Newport County at the Proact Stadium on Easter Monday. Whitmore believes it is a great opportunity to improve their current league position. 

“The time is now,” he asserted. “We needed something to kick start and I do think Sunday was it. If we can pick up another three or four points it would put us in a very strong position. 

“The ability has been there for weeks. I think everyone knows that we have set the standard now. The next game is always the most important one, regardless of where you are in the league.” 

The Spireites are set to have a large following at Vale Park tomorrow afternoon and Whitmore believes the fans can have a huge impact between now and the end of the season. 

“They have been massive. It is frustrating because they have been with us the whole time and we have been dying to give them something to shout about. 

“It has been hard and they deserve a lot better. We plan to give them that level of intensity and performance between now and the end of the season,” he added.

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