'We won it at a canter' - James Rowe praises Aston Villa 'gem' Jack Clarke who stars in Chesterfield's win against Barnet

James Rowe said Chesterfield beat struggling Barnet ‘at a canter’ and the Spireites boss was left very impressed by ‘gem’ Jack Clarke.

Sunday, 21st March 2021, 9:05 am

The dominant Blues could have been a couple of goals up before the superb Clarke, on loan from Aston Villa, assisted Tom Whelan for the opener on 10 minutes.

Adi Yussuf doubled the lead when he tapped home his first Town goal just after half-time when Akwasi Asante’s free-kick was spilled.

Overall it was a comfortable afternoon at The Hive against the managerless Bees, who finished the game with 10-men.

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Chesterfield manager James Rowe.
Chesterfield manager James Rowe.

“We won it at a canter,” Rowe said.

“The first goal settled us down.

“We played some really good stuff, but most importantly our counter press and our high pressure from controlled phases was good.

“I thought Jack Clarke and Tom Whelan led that intensity and the wing-backs joined in and that is what I was looking for.

“I think we could have gone up a gear in the last half an hour if we needed to.

“We created enough opportunities for it to be more than two really.

“Our final execution and pass could have been better but other than that I am being quite picky.

“It was a good bounce-back performance.”

He added: "We were more like our old selves, our DNA in what we want to do.

“I am a happy manager today.”

The excellent Clarke ran the show and his performance left Rowe purring at full-time.

“It looks like we have unearthed a gem in Jack Clarke,” he said.

“I wanted to see how he would be in the ‘eight’ position. He joined in the front really well and supported Curtis (Weston) going the other way.

“It was a complete midfielder’s performance.

“He still needs some upper work on his body and then I think he will be able to get away from defenders even more.

“I was really impressed with him.”

Fraser Kerr made a quick return to the line-up despite hobbling off with a knee problem against Sutton United.

Jak McCourt missed out with a muscular injury and Joel Taylor had a niggle.

On Yussuf’s first goal, Rowe added: “He led the line really well. I thought he created space for Akwasi (Asante), he grew into the game and I thought those two were a handful.”