Spireites: Chesterfield boss remains positive ahead of Northampton Town test

Spireites Manager Paul Cook on the touchline by Tina Jenner Chesterfield v Dagenham and Redbridge
Spireites Manager Paul Cook on the touchline by Tina Jenner Chesterfield v Dagenham and Redbridge

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook said he was pleased with the way his side responded from Saturday’s defeat to Southend United against Rochdale on Tuesday night.

The Spireites were minutes away from reclaiming a top three spot in League Two with three crucial points at home to promotion rivals Rochdale before a dramatic finish.

Marc Richards, who had added to Gary Roberts’ opener to extend Chesterfield’s lead, was controversially shown a straight red card for handball by referee Andy D’Urso and a penalty awarded.

Ian Henderson converted before he turned provider for Peter Vincenti to level the match in the space of two minutes as Keith Hill’s Dale side returned to Spotland with a point.

But, rather than dwell on the game-changing decision by the match official, Cook remained positive ahead of this weekend’s trip to Sixfields to play Northampton Town.

He said: “As a manager up to 88 minutes I was so pleased with our performance it was untrue. I thought we were excellent.

“Second half we stopped a very good, attacking Rochdale side to no attempts on our goal. I don’t think anyone could foresee what was about to happen but it’s football.

“There is so much more football to be played, if we play like that I think we’ll be in a really good position come the end of the season. Our supporters can rest assured that if we turn out more performances like that then the future looks very good for us.”

Cook opted to field the same starting eleven which lost 3-0 to Southend on Saturday.

He added: “If I’d have made one or two changes than it’d be like blaming those lads for the defeat and we were poor Saturday.

“Everyone’s responded in a really positive way and that’s the most pleasing thing for me as a manager, to come back from Southend on the back of a defeat, to be 2-0 up like that was looking good and was great for their confidence.

“My job now is to pick them up, let’s go again Saturday, let’s go to Northampton to try and win a football game that takes us higher up the league.”

Defender Drew Talbot was substituted at half-time after he picked up a knock, though the full extent of his abductor injury is not yet known. Ian Evatt was also replaced in the second half as Sam Hird and Tendayi Darikwa filled in in defence.

Turn inside to pages 107 for the full match report.