Drew Talbot has leapt to the defence of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy ahead of tonight’s Northern Area semi-final at Oldham Athletic, writes James Shield.
The midfielder, a member of the Chesterfield squad which won the tournament two seasons ago, admitted he finds it difficult to comprehend why some folk approach it with indifference.
“This is a competition which, for obvious reasons, is very close to my heart,” Talbot, who has made 20 appearances for Paul Cook’s side this term, told The Star. “I feel very fortunate to have been part of that team and it was a wonderful occasion.
“So that’s why I can’t understand it when you hear people say they’re not taking it too seriously or that they’re not too disappointed to have gone out.
“It offers you the chance to play at Wembley which some of the biggest names in the business would love to do but aren’t always fortunate enough to achieve.
“And, on top of that, it’s a chance to win a medal. Surely you want to collect at least one of those during your career?”
“Also, in my book, you should be going into every single match giving everything and wanting to win,” Talbot added. “We’ve got a tough draw against a good club but that’s what we will definitely be doing.”
Athletic, 14th in the League One table, are 12 places above Chesterfield in the footballing pyramid. But the visitors, a point behind League Two leaders Oxford United, triumphed when the two teams met in the first round last term.
Cook’s counterpart Lee Johnson enjoyed a brief spell on loan with Chesterfield before taking charge at Boundary Park. Talbot warned the 32-year-old’s presence means Athletic will prove formidable opponents.
“I played alongside Lee and, knowing how he likes to go about his work, we know this is going to be tough,” he said. “It’s great to see someone so young getting a chance in management but why not if you’re good enough?
“Personally, I think it’s great for the English game.”