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Martin: "In the second half, I thought we played extremely well"

17 November 2018

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Speaking after Saturday’s goal-less draw with Havant & Waterlooville, Martin Allen stated that it was “nervy” first-half performance, but the manager was more positive about Chesterfield’s display after the break.

“I didn’t think we played very well in the first half. I thought it was an edgy performance. I thought it was a nervy first half,” said the boss.

“We wanted to try and play and get the ball down and move it on the grass. We started the game very well and as the game proceeded we got edgy and nervy.

“We kept it calm at half-time and explained to the players the need to compete before playing good football.

“In the second half, I thought we played extremely well. We made some good chances, and we were unlucky on a couple of set plays.”

Allen made two substitutions early in the second half, bringing forwards Levi Amantchi and Tom Denton on.

The pair made an instant impact and were both unlucky not to score during Saturday’s game.

The Spireites manager was positive when he mentioned the pair during the post-match press conference, by saying: “I could have made the substitutions at half-time in all honesty. Both those lads are good players. You’ve seen with Levi (Amantchi) coming on, it’s a tremendous substitute to be able to bring him on.

“He’s fresh, he’s full of energy and he makes things happen. He’s got pace and he’s got skill. He’s going to be a really good player.

“With Tom (Denton) coming on as well, he gives us something different and gives us a chance to hit that diagonal pass.

“He was very unlucky. He had a great header from a long throw where it went across the keeper.”

The draw against Havant & Waterlooville takes Chesterfield to nine games unbeaten in all competitions, with one win and eight draws.

Allen acknowledged the positives that his team are unbeaten since late September, but also put forward that it is going to take time for him and the players to turn the draws into victories.

“We are nine unbeaten now. Yes, I would’ve preferred those to have been wins. It takes time for it to turn round,” he said.

“It’s taken me time, longer than I wanted, but it’s turning. The players you can see are fighting. Yes, we need a bit more quality, but I think we are moving in the right direction.”

The Spireites will travel to Billericay for their next fixture in an FA Cup first round replay on Tuesday night.

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