'Physicality' was reason for last-gasp Chesterfield defeat at Eastleigh, says Paul Cook

Paul Cook said Chesterfield’s last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Eastleigh was down to ‘physicality.’
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The Spireites conceded two goals from set-pieces, including in the 91st minute, to fall to their third loss on the bounce.

Liam Mandeville had equalised early in the second-half before Brennan Camp’s headed injury-time winner.

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"It is a tough one to take because we certainly did not deserve to lose the game,” Cook said.

Paul Cook.Paul Cook.
Paul Cook.

"There was a spell after 65-70 minutes where we certainly were not in danger of losing the game, it was a case of can we go on and win it.

"We have had some great chances today and you have got to score them.

"Sometimes when things are going wrong for you, and it has been a tough week, we conspire to concede a goal in stoppage time. We gave away a stupid set-piece again, we were not in danger.

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"We just struggle controlling games at the minute, we struggle to be happy on the halfway line and above and opening teams up. We are at a stage now where we are getting that repetitively. That will come with time, experience, and relationships on the pitch.

"Today we have been done by physicality, which is what we felt might be a problem for us. The previous two games we have not been done by physicality, we have been done by transition and counter-attacks.

"We were comfortable in the game but unfortunately the naivety of us at the minute, as a group of lads, myself included in that, you have have got to be happy to be good but unfortunately sometimes when we are in possession of the ball, you can see how agitated we get and that is something we have got to look at.”

Cook made six changes from midweek with Lucas Covolan (ankle) set to be out for a number of weeks, while Jack Clarke (hamstring) and Calvin Miller (back spasm) also missed out.

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Debutant Joe Cook, who gave a good account of himself, came off in the second-half with cramp.

But there is some good news in that Armando Dobra is back fit and he is set to play in the FA Cup match next Saturday.

Cook said: "That is huge because we have missed the little fella. He was not risked today.”

He added: "Today we have had debutants, new lads come into the team who I thought acquitted themselves well.

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"We are still a new team, we have played 13 games and got 24 points, probably not a return now that everyone would want, but it is still not a bad return, but the teams at the top are setting such a relentless pace.

"We are so disappointed.”