Lester on the television buzz, the art of defending and sending familiar faces home unhappy
Jack Lester hopes his players are waking up today full of excitement about playing live on television.
The Sky cameras will be at the Proact this afternoon for relegation battlers Chesterfield’s vital clash with promotion hunters Notts County.
Town boss Lester, who once famously netted a hat-trick for the Spireites in a live televised game against Rotherham United, thinks there should be an extra buzz about today’s fixture.
“I think so, you’re aware people are watching,” he said.
“There’s something about being live on tele, it is exciting when you’re a footballer growing up.
“I would hope the players will be excited about it.”
He won’t want them to be so filled with adrenaline that they lose discipline, however.
Getting in the Magpies’ faces to stop them bombarding the home penalty area, without committing silly fouls, will be the order of the day against a side with plenty of aerial threat.
“It’s a difficult one, you can’t ask your players to stand off and not go into tackles, that won’t work because the ball will come into your box very quickly,” he said.
“You have to be tight, you have to be competitive and you do run the risk of giving free-kicks away, that’s the skill of defending, getting tight and stopping them from playing but not giving away cheap free-kicks.
“These are qualities of good defenders and good football players, that’s key.
“Most teams in this league are set up for set-pieces if you like, quite a few are quite direct with big strikers and this is another one of those teams.
“We have shown we’re very capable of playing against these kind of sides and winning, that will be the aim on Sunday.”
Notts have a pair of wily operators up top in Shola Ameobi and Jon Stead, who have 14 goals between them.
But there’s also a dangerman in midfield, Jorge Grant having found the net 18 times this season.
“They’re good,” said Lester of today’s visitors, who won’t find themselves up against a Chesterfield who park the bus.
“They play 4-4-2 most of the time, they’ve obviously got some experience up front, they get those two involved as often and as quickly as they can.
“They’ve got some good players but there’s some areas where we think we might get some joy.
“It’s certainly not a case of us playing a team near the top and sitting back hoping for a point, we’re going to go out all guns blazing and try to win the game.”
In the opposition dugout are some familiar faces for Lester and Town fans.
As much as he admires the Notts coaching staff, he hopes they go home unhappy.
“I really like him (Kevin Nolan, Notts boss), he’s had a very bright start.
“Mark Crossley was here and I think a lot of him.
“He did very well here as a goalie coach.
“They’re a very good set of staff, I do really like them but we need to win the game.”