Match preview: In-form Eoin Doyle ‘same today as he’s always been,’ says Spireites boss

Eion Doyle pulls one back for Chesterfield Pic By: James Williamson
Eion Doyle pulls one back for Chesterfield Pic By: James Williamson

Chesterfield boss Paul Cook believes there is no difference between the Eoin Doyle of today and the one that took to the field last season.

Spireites striker, Doyle, is in deadly form with back-to-back hat-tricks in the space of four days against Scunthorpe United and Preston North End.

The goal-fest has taken his season’s tally to 11 - just two shy of last term’s total - which included a 90th minute penalty at Deepdale to secure a point.

And Cook said his top marksman, along with the rest of the team, are carrying on good habits from last season’s League Two title winning campaign.

“Eoin does nothing different today than he has done this time last season,” said Cook. “As a team, we’re not doing a lot different to last season.

“What is now happening is that there is a lot more space on pitches due to how teams set up to face us - it’s that simple.

“Last year there was no space against teams, teams were defending deep and defending at the edge of their box in numbers with no space to run in to.

“Eoin has made great use of that space, allied by his team-mates providing a lot of chances.

“Eoin will be the first to admit that some of the passes off Daniel Johnson and Jay O’Shea the other night was sublime and Eoin’s finishing has been top drawer as well.”

On a dramatic night in Lancashire, a Doyle-inspired Chesterfield fought back from 3-0 down to grab an unlikely point against Simon Grayson’s men.

He said: “It was a fantastic effort from the players to come from three down. A lot of people would have thought that was game, set and match when the third one goes in but the lads showed great character to get on the ball.

“They are so brave in how they play and its clear for all to see they are enjoying their football at the minute and that’s pleasing for me as a manager.

“Defensively for the first 15 minutes we were all over the place. It’s something we look at what we can do better, how can we improve.

“I thought for the last 60 minutes of the game I thought we were excellent. We couldn’t handle them in the first 15 minutes. But when you play like Preston did, you can’t keep it up.

“It’s important you’re doing the right things at the right time. We want to be playing in their half, not keeping it so short, we must get higher up the pitch and press in their half to keep them away from us.”

Saturday’s clash with Doncaster Rovers sees two sides who have very different fortunes, with the Spireites unbeaten on the road and Rovers without a win at home.

And Cook said his side travel with a strong belief.

He added: “We’re looking forward to big support tomorrow. I think they (fans) know that we’re trying our best for them. When we go to these places, we go there to win.

“We’re trying to win a league, I make no bones about it. We’re not stupid, we might go on a bad run but the mentality of myself and the players must be ‘we’re here for good’, ‘we’re here because we deserve to be and we want to go up’. We’ve got to have that self belief.”