'Fantastic project' - Liam Mandeville wants to help Chesterfield get to League One
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The midfielder, who is closing in on making 200 appearances for the club, has just signed a new contract until summer 2026.
The 26-year-old won the Spireites’ player of the year award last season and he is having another superb campaign, notching up 10 assists and five goals in 18 appearances.
He told the DT: "I think everyone sees it as a League One club. We are not looking to just go up this year, we are looking to go up again in the short-term rather than the long-term. It is a fantastic project to be a part of. I live not too far away in Doncaster so I am definitely settled and I think that has helped performances.
"I have mentioned a few times that we have had some ‘downs’ here but at the moment it looks like we are going up and up and up. It is hard not to get on-board when you have got a feel-good factor like that. From the top downwards, it is being run so well. It is definitely a club going places. The quality of player we have got is unbelievable for the level."
He explained: "He is my favourite manager who I have worked for so that is obviously a massive part of my decision. I am so grateful to be a footballer. Every day I come in I am so happy. When it is not going your way or when you are not playing or the team is in a tough position it is actually quite a dark place so when these good times come about you have got to roll with them and that is what I am doing. In the first couple of years here I was thinking that my career had stalled. The gaffer and all the staff have all helped me find that mojo again a little bit.”
Asked what it is specfically about Cook that has impressed him, he replied: "I think it is the level of trust in me. Even when I have not played well in the past he has kept me on the pitch and picked me the next game. It is that trust and the way he wants to play suits the way I want to play. He is a good man-managr, he is a good guy, so I am really enjoying it.”
Mandeville joked that his assist for Tom Naylor’s winner against Pompey in the FA Cup on Sunday was his ‘only good delivery’ of the game. His tackling also caught the eye, a skill of his he says is ‘under-rated.’
He added: "It was good to test ourselves against the top of the League One. That is where we want to be. That is where we see this club going. It is good to know that we did not look out of place at all. We have definitely shown that we can compete with these types of teams.
“It was the toughest draw we could have had. For some reason, in this cup, against Football League opposition, we seem to thrive. We were quietly confident while also paying them the utmost respect. We had an extra day of training to work on things and I think that worked in our favour.”