Chesterfield's play-off final defeat 'pain' can be banished with promotion, says Paul Cook

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Paul Cook says Chesterfield’s play-off final ‘pain’ will disappear if they seal promotion back to the Football League this season.

Town are running away with it at the top of the National League and could clinch the title within the next month.

They came agonisingly close to going up last year, losing to Notts County on penalties at Wembley, but Cook was satisfied with his team’s performance on the day, especially against a side who it was hard to argue didn’t deserve to be promoted after achieving 107 points.

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But tears of sadness in the stands and on the pitch at Wembley could soon be replaced by tears of joy.

Paul Cook. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Paul Cook. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Paul Cook. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“I wasn’t bad after Wembley,” Cook told 1866 Sport. “I was alright with it. I felt that we turned up on the day. I felt that we didn’t let the supporters down. We worked hard. There was no problem with losing on penalties because it wasn’t our time. Had we lost to one of the teams below us then it would have been a painful defeat because you would have expected to go up. All our pain can go away if we keep doing what we are doing.”

When Cook was reappointed manager two years ago, he didn’t ‘enjoy’ watching them and repeated comments that he didn’t ‘trust’ them. But that has all changed now.

“These are probably the best group of lads I have ever worked with,” he said. “They are an absolute pleasure. I have been saying it for a long time. I make changes because I probably don’t know what our best team is. Whoever comes in seems to do the same as the ones who were in before. The players are an absolute credit to the football club.”

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And Cook was full of praise for his backroom staff, who he says are so ‘thorough’ in their work.

He added: “The people that I have got working with me are so trustworthy and are all off the same page. I just feel we have got a good fit at the minute and long may it continue.”