Paul Cook believes Chesterfield were the architects of their own downfall against Coventry City, following the Spireites’ 3-2 defeat at home to the Sky Blues.
Chesterfield enjoyed plenty of possession and forced Coventry keeper Lee Burge in to a handful of important saves, none more so than a reaction stop from Caolan Lavery late on.
But the Spireites boss was clear in his post-match assessment of a defeat that leaves his side five points away from the League One play-offs ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Gillingham.
Cook said: “We’re getting in to the ascendency in games and then we’re shooting ourselves in the foot. We want to encourage passing play and every now and then you must come out and back your players and I’ll always do that.
“People must be allowed to make mistakes. Every time we looked to get a foothold in the game today we went on the back foot and that’s the problem when you give goals away - you give teams momentum.
“It’s so disappointing, we don’t know how to draw a game. We don’t even have that game management. Every team has their Achilles’ heel and that’s ours. But when players need backing I’ll always back them.”
Lavery and Gboly Ariyibi were among the front players who impressed for Chesterfield going forward.
“I thought Lavery was excellent for the whole game,” said Cook. “We had Ariyibi who looks like an exciting talent. We had really good players today, we just didn’t have enough of them and we didn’t win the game.
“It was a good save right at the end. We sometimes struggle to manage games when we’re up against more experienced and streetwise teams who do things better than us. We made same individual errors at MK Dons but didn’t get punished.
“Our club must now make small strides. We’re not going to make giant strides. We’re punching alongside some big heavyweights, these are big clubs and if we’re going to be successful we must make small strides slowly.
“The education of players and development of our players becomes paramount. Tuesday night is a big game for us, it’ll be a test for me, the players and our supporters - we need to show that unity.
“We’ve come a long way and let’s be behind each other from the first minute to the last. There’s one thing our lads don’t do and that’s lack any effort on the pitch.”