Spireites’ work ethic pleases boss Paul Cook

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook

Chesterfield may have lost their unbeaten away run in League One at Doncaster Rovers but manager Paul Cook said he could not fault the commitment of his players.

The Spireites gave themselves an uphill task when they were two down after half an hour at the Keepmoat Stadium before Sam Clucas got his first for the club before half-time.

The goal gave hope of another comeback for Chesterfield before Rovers restored their two-goal advantage and held on despite Eoin Doyle reducing the arrears to set up a tense finale.

It was the first time the Spireites had tasted defeat on the road during the league this campaign and Cook believes there is a vibrant atmosphere around the club, ahead of the visit of near neighbours Notts County to the Proact Stadium on Saturday.

“I can’t ask anymore from the players,” said Cook. “They don’t lie down. We have got a few flaws, of course we have, we’re not great defensively at the moment but it’s not for a want of trying.

“I can assure the supporters, we’re going to attack again on Saturday. We’re going in to a smashing month, it’s what we’re involved in football for to be part of the big games.

“It’s going to be a special month and it starts with Notts County on Saturday. It’s going to be a tough game but we’re going to be backed by a very good home support and we’ll give it our best.

“It’s definitely not flat around here at the minute, I think there is a really good atmosphere around the club. We are in the midst of a really bad injury situation, but you’d never know.

“There is such an upbeat atmosphere, it’s a pleasure to be manager at Doncaster on Saturday. The supporters were a credit to themselves, they lifted us at times when we needed lifting.”

Sam Morsy limped off after 22 minutes at the Keepmoat after sustaining a hamstring injury, which Cook revealed wasn’t as bad as first feared and described as ‘touch and go’ for the visit of Notts.

Gary Roberts, Dan Jones and Georg Margreitter are also believed to be in contention, while Dan Gardner has impressed in training and could find himself involved on Saturday along with Jay O’Shea.

The visit of Notts, managed by Shaun Derry, will see the Chesterfield come up against the meanest defence in the league, who have conceded six but only scored seven.

Cook added: “They’re a very difficult team to beat. We’ve got our hands full on Saturday but I think Shaun will know, with them coming here, they’re going to get a test.

“Our club’s in a good place at the minute and long may it continue. There’s a spring in the step of supporters and that comes from what they’re seeing on the pitch.

“We’re not always going to win. We’ve had a difficult week when you think it’s only a point but there have been positive signs from everyone who have played their part.”

Team news: Chesterfield FC v Notts County

What do you think? Email your views to Matt Brooks