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League Two

Paul Cook hails promotion-winning Chesterfield side

27 April 2014

Paul Cook celebrated his first full season as Chesterfield's boss with promotion to League 1 after a 2-0 win at Burton Albion and dedicated the success to his players and club chairman Dave Allen.

Almost 2,000 Chesterfield fans travelled to the Pirelli Stadium and hundreds swarmed onto the pitch at the end to join the celebrations after Jay O'Shea secured a comfortable victory with goals in the 52nd and 79th minutes.

But Cook wasted no time in taking a swipe at critics who thought his side might falter in their quest for promotion.

The Spireites boss said: "I'm delighted for the chairman and the board of directors and I'm delighted for the players.

"We go into the last game of the season sitting on top of the league and I'm so proud to be managing this club.

"As the manager of an ambitious club, we've had a few bumps and bruises along the way and we've had to take a bit of criticism but I've never had any diminishing faith in the players.

"I've always felt this squad was comfortably good enough to be promoted and it's all justified.

"We've had a lot of draws at home and negative performances but people don't realise is how hard it is.

"It's easy to forget this our first full season in management as a staff.

"We're not wholly experienced in the trials and tribulations of the job and I remember someone saying to me that we shouldn't try to pass our way out of this league.

"But they're looking a bit silly now because we've done our best to do it the right way.

"I've always felt that we've had a little bit too much criticism but we're now seven games unbeaten since the (Johnstone Paint Trophy final) at Wembley and I think it's about time my players got a massive pat on the back."

Burton are already assured of a place in the play-offs and manager Gary Rowett admitted his side dropped their standards.

The Brewers boss said: "It looked like an end-of-season performance by us with nothing on the game.

"Whether the players were worried about picking up injuries or what I don't know, but if I was a player in that team I'd be worried I might not get selected for the play-offs.

"We didn't look anywhere near fit enough and we didn't do enogh on the ball. It's as bad as we've played all season.

"I'm hoping that's just a situation caused by the fact we're already focusing on the play-offs."

Rowett said the three teams he tipped earlier in the season had now secured promotion to League One.

"I said earlier in the season that Chesterfield, Rochdale and Scunthorpe were the teams I would put my money on," he said.

"I think those three teams deserve to go up - but we've still go a fantastic chance ourselves as along as we play an awful lot better than we did."

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