Chesterfield manager Paul Cook praises influence of former Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth trio

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Paul Cook has praised the major influence of three of his senior players.

Tom Naylor, Michael Jacobs and Will Grigg all arrived in the summer with a wealth of Football League experience.

And the trio are having a big impact on Chesterfield’s season, with Naylor and Grigg both scoring in the exciting comeback win against Solihull Moors.

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"We made a decision with recruitment in the summer that we were going to go for less quantity of players,” Cook told TNT Sports. “My remit is to have less numbers but more quality. We brought Grigg, Jacobs and Naylor in. They are absolutely the best lads you can work with. There is no ego, they are first in, they do the gym work, they drive the team on, and they set the standards at the club. The group of lads we have got, irrespective of what we achieve, are a pleasure to work with."

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook.Chesterfield manager Paul Cook.
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook.

Incredibly, Chesterfield have won 19 out of 20 home games going back to April last season. Since drawing with Oldham Athletic on August 19, they have won 14 home matches on the bounce.

Cook said: "We genuinely believe we can go into deep water with any team in the division and we will be alright. It doesn't mean we are going to win, but we will keep knocking at the door."

Cook, who said they will ‘attack the game’ when they travel to Watford in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, also revealed they will play a load of youngsters for the FA Trophy clash against Welling United because of their busy schedule.

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Chesterfield started 2024 in their usual entertaining style, coming from two goals down to beat a stubborn Solihull 3-2.

Cook laughed: "I was saying to the lads it is not supposed to be like this, but it is, isn't it? What a good advert for the league.

"Solihull were excellent in the first-half defensively, they frustrated us, we then started making some poor decisions. They (Solihull) scored, we didn't create much in the first-half, Dobs maybe should have scored, that was one.

"I thought we started the second-half excellently well, they (Solihull) scored again, and then credit to our team because you have to show character at stadiums like this. The crowd weren't turning but they were agitated. I know we are fit because of how we train, the longer the game goes on we will be alright because we will create chances, and then if it is not your day then it is not your day. We will live with that, but we will keep knocking on the door. I am delighted with our players, credit to Solihull, we have had two great games against them.”