‘Others will be chomping to get at us’ - Cook

Chesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul Cook
Chesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul Cook
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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook has warned his side that they now have a target on their backs following a return to top spot in League Two.

The Spireites had the advantage of watching the scores come through on Saturday safe in the knowledge they were two points clear of their closest challengers Oxford United, after Friday night’s win at Exeter City.

Ollie Banks broke the hosts’ resistance early in the second half before Marc Richards sealed all three points at St James Park to ensure they leapfrogged Oxford at the top.

And Cook said it was a great psychological boost for everyone.

He said: “It’s where you want to be. It’ll give everyone a little boost and we’ll probably get more people on Boxing Day because we are top.

“People want to be top and there’s nothing wrong with that because if you want to be second or third you shouldn’t be in the league.

“We all want to be top and we must respect the fact we’re there with other teams chomping to get you.”

Cook looks set to keep faith in the side which overcame Paul Tisdale’s Grecians.

“I think we’ve got to show all the the abilities that you’ve got. We’ve passed it and played football and now we’ve dug out a couple of results.” he added.

Chesterfield have been hit with a wave of injuries, which has stretched the squad over the past fortnight. But with players returning - Liam Cooper (ankle) and Nathan Smith (ankle) are the latest names to return to training - competition for places has never been greater.

Gary Roberts, however, suffered a slight set back on his road to recovery from a hamstring injury towards the back end of last week and is unlikely to be risked.

Aaron Chapman (knee) and Jimmy Ryan (shoulder) are the only other absentees.

The Spireites have reaped the rewards of playing two in attack with Marc Richards having scored three in four in the league.