'˜We will be strong,' insists defiant Allen as he opts for positive mindset

Martin Allen has no doubts Chesterfield '˜will be strong' again after a rocky patch and four straight defeats.

Wednesday, 29th August 2018, 3:54 pm
Chesterfield manager Martin Allen before the game: Picture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: Vanarama National League match Barrow -V- Chesterfield at Holker Street, Barrow, Cumbria, England copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

The Spireites took maximum points from their first three games but haven’t picked up a point since.

Allen insists he didn’t get carried away when they were winning.

“I think the start was fantastic, to get nine points on the board straight away,” he said.

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“I remember saying after those games they were good wins but I thought there was room for improvement.

“I wasn’t entirely happy with what we had at that point and certainly never got carried away with winning those three games.”

Defeats at Barrow and Salford were followed by 1-0 losses to Barnet and Hartlepool as the Spireites dropped to 15th in the National League.

Looking back on the defeats, Allen gave mixed reviews of the performances.

“At Barrow the sending off cost us dearly in a tough game, but I thought the players showed good character to come back from behind and I thought we played well.

“Salford was our best performance so far.

“We won our battles in our key areas and played some good football, the type of football I want to see us play, like we played against Wigan.

“To lose a goal off a set play and a shot from outside the box was particularly disappointing I think, that knocked the stuffing out of a lot of the players.

“They were very disappointed. Even though we lost it was a good performance.

“Against Barnet, for the first time I thought we were flat, we never had the energy, the enthusiasm, the desire and I think Barnet on the day were the better team.

“I watched the video of their performance the week before and they were very poor.

“They played five at the back for the first time, against us, they played forward very quickly and won battles all over the pitch.

“Although we were presing for a win, on the counter they were dangerous.

“We lost to a 20 yarder in the top corner.

“It was very difficult for the players afterwards in the dressing room.

“We lost Will Evans at Hartlepool. He had a knock on his hip on Saturday but trained fine, had no problems in training or in the warm up but got another knock on it.

“We played with three centre-backs and for the first 20 minutes Hartlepool were the better team, but once we changed formation I think we looked much sharper and we started to play much better.

“We dominated the second half, the ball was up their end but we never managed to create enough chances. We did have chances though.”

Allen remains upbeat ahead of another tricky tie at home to in-form Leyton Orient on Saturday.

“On the back of two 1-0 defeats it’s difficult to take but there’s still been a lot of good signs and good play,” he said.

“We’ve got a good squad, we can tweak and change a few little bits, freshen it up until we find the best 11 we can get.

“Kyel Reid and Marc-Antoine Fortune are now getting fitter and stronger.

“Hollis is a good acquisition.

“We’ve strengthened our squad from what it was.”

He says positivity is the only mindset with which he can meet the current predicament.

“We have to fight our way through, what is the alternative?

“To sit back and moan, cry, blame everyone else, criticise everyone left, right and centre?

“That’s obviously never going to be the way with me.

“It was just a few weeks ago we had nine points and were near the top of the league.”

He admits that the morale of his squad has been affected by the run of defeats but has challenged players to show supporters why he’s keeping faith.

And his request to the fans is to follow his lead.

“Everyone is a little bit quiet, wondering how we’re going to turn this around – players and supporters.

“The only way is with our shoulders back and our heads up, when the players take the field on Saturday, to lead the way.

“Players are responsible to perform for those supporters.

“This is not what they expected but I think most will see at times we’ve been a bit unlucky, we haven’t been beaten 3-0 with players jogging around.

“We just haven’t finished chances and been punished a couple of times, a little bit harshly.

“There’s plenty to play for, we’re only a couple of wins away from top place.

“We have to keep our faith, they’re good players and good people.

“We will be strong, there’s no doubt about that.”