Chesterfield FC boss Paul Cook praises his Mansfield counterpart

Chesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul CookChesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul Cook
Chesterfield FC v Nottingham Forest Paul Cook
Chesterfield boss Paul Cook has praised his Mansfield Town counterpart Paul Cox for their excellent start to the season.

The former Accrington Stanley boss says he has been impressed by the workrate shown by Stags and the quality of signing made by Cox following their return to the Football League.

The two sides lock horns for the first time in five years on Saturday with three points and local pride up for grabs

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Cook, who signed a new contract extension this week, said: “Sam Clucas is a fantastic player and Mansfield have made a good signing there, but they’ve got a lot of good players and we’ll prepare as a team and how they’ll set up and not just focus on individuals.

“We know what Mansfield do and we’ve got great respect for them. I think they’re having a fantastic year and Paul’s done a really good job.

“To get out of that Conference is a really tough task. To go on the run they went on showed really good character and team spirit and the work ethic of the group.

“They’ve not taken long to find their feet in the league. They’ve had some strong results and they’re going in the right direction so we’re all looking forward to the game on Saturday.”

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But, despite the sell-out crowd and the importance of the derby, Cook says he will not prepare for the game any differently

“In terms of how we dominate possession and how we look to play the game, it won’t change, it doesn’t change for anyone,” added Cook.

“It’s going to be a great occasion for the area. It’s got everything supporters queue up in the rain to get tickets for.

“We know what it means to our supporters but we also know what it means to be top of the league and get promoted.”

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Mansfield have not beaten Chesterfield since Liam Lawrence memorably struck deep into injury time to seal a 2-1 win at Saltergate in January 2003.

Chesterfield emerged victorious the last time the two sides played each other during an FA Cup first round tie in November 2008.

Both sides have won 25 games a piece during the previous 64 meetings.

Mansfield have a clean bill of health apart from the suspended Martin Riley and injured Chris Clements.

Chesterfield are expected to recall striker Marc Richards, who missed the 1-0 win at Oxford last weekend with a thigh strain.