Spireites boss highlights fans' role in leveller and praises his men to the hilt

Martin Allen said it was no coincidence that his men pegged Wigan back to 1-1 just after the Proact noise levels picked up.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 11:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 11:47 am
Chesterfield FC v Wigan, Zavon Hines

The Spireites boss was delighted with the way his players competed against their Championship visitors in Tommy Lee’s testimonial game.

It ended 1-1 thanks to Jerome Binnom-Williams’ second half equaliser, which came at a time when the home fans were getting behind the new-look side.

Allen said: “They started signing and we scored.

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“I’ve said all summer everyone has to play their part, on and off the field.

“I walked along the touchline and asked them for a little bit more energy, come on, we need you, they started to raise it and we scored straight away.

“That’s not a coincidence, it’s not through luck.

“We need all those supporters to be like that all the time.”

Chesterfield fans had plenty to cheer about throughout the evening, from Lee’s seven minute cameo in goal to some crunching tackles and a couple of decent chances in the Wigan box, before Ugwu’s goal.

Allen highlighted Wigan’s evident ability, but didn’t feel his side were outmatched at all.

“I thought we acquitted ourselves well against a Championship team,” said Allen.

“They’ve obviously got a lot of quality and technical skills and I thought we played really well.

“That’s what we wanted, that’s what we’ve practised and trained for.

“I just thought the whole thing was a good night for the supporters.

“When I came up here to watch them play Newport they were despondent and I’ve promised them all it’ll be good.

“This is only just the start.

“You’ve seen the commitment and energy of all the players, with and without the ball.

“They’re 100 per cent focused on our club.

“You saw the action.

“In the second half they didn’t get near our goal, did they?

“We had a couple of good chances, not many, but when there’s a three division jump, I don’t think you’d have known there was a three division gap tonight.”

Despite having to do a lot of running thanks to Paul Cook’s side eye catching possession football, Chesterfield’s players didn’t wilt on a warm evening.

Allen says that’s testiment to the work they’ve put in on the training ground.

“I’m not lying when I say they’ve had that commitment in training every day.

“When we’ve done a running session and it’s been boiling hot and they think they’re going to get their trainers on to come back here, then they’ve had to do another running session and they’ve done it - no crying or whinging.

“Then when they’ve finished that session they think they’re coming back here, it’s boiling hot and they’ve had to do it again.

“They just do it.

“You saw in the last 20 minutes our players have had to do a lot of running in that game because Wigan do play some lovely football.

“But my God didn’t everyone look strong, fit, sharp, good in possession, moved it around well at times.”

He refused to single anyone out for praise, instead applauding the efforts of each department on the pitch, starting with the attack.

“That centre forward, oh my God.

“Gozie Ugwu, what a player.

“I said it when I got here didn’t I? What a player.

“The old boy up front with him played well, Hines, the midfield all played well.

“Anyone doubted that captain, what a performance he’s put in in front of the back four sweeping up.

“The back four was proper quality.

“I think the response from all the supporters was awesome.

“It was a great turnout and atmosphere for Tommy, everyone appreciating his magnificent service to this football club.

“But for me and our players, this night was a night to show we can play good.”