'I didn't enjoy watching us' - Paul Cook 'searching' for right 'blend' ahead of Halifax clash

Paul Cook says he has not been ‘enjoying’ watching his Chesterfield side recently and that he is ‘searching’ for the right ‘blend’ in terms of formation and team selection.

By Liam Norcliffe
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 12:18 pm

The Spireites have won four, drawn four and lost four since Cook returned to the club in February.

After initially swapping to four at the back, Cook reverted to a three-man defence against Wealdstone and it paid off with a 2-1 win.

However, Cook admitted he still did not enjoy the performance.

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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook.

"One of the things for me, which I am quite strong-minded with is, I won’t let results dictate that (team selection and formation) – I would rather let performances.

"When we were playing 4-3-3 we went six games unbeaten, our first defeat was at Altrincham, so we had won three and drawn three and within those three draws we conceded two last-minute goals but I still did not enjoy watching the team. As a manager, I think when you can enjoy watching your team, the reality is you have probably found your best formation. For us, that search just goes on.

"I don’t enjoy us hanging on to one-goal victories. Since I have come back we have only won by a goal in games. The last 10-minute of games become very nervy. The truth is we are searching for something at the minute.

"If you saw our performance against Grimsby, the reality for our supporters was that the team had to change, but it was the same team that had gone to Notts County a week before and played ever so well. So that is the challenge of management.

"But the truth is we have got a great set of players and if we can stay together like we are, the reality is we don’t know what we can achieve.”

Cook says his challenge when appointed was getting to know the squad and he feels comfortable with that now and he can’t fault the players’ work ethic.

"We have probably lacked goals in certain games, we have not had enough people scoring goals, and defensively at times we have looked a bit vulnerable,” he added.

"But I can only tell our supporters that they are a really, really good set of lads to work with. They are really commited, very honest and we have got qualites so trying to find that right blend of team is so important and I think that is something we are still searching for today.”