Writer: Deano The Spireite
Date:Monday December 10 2012
Cook has transformed the team bringing key players in, with his captain Hird marshalling the back line. The back four are a settled unit, there was too many changes last season, and at the beginning of this season. With Tommy Lee back from injury the defence have built up a good understanding with him. Smith at Left back and Talbot at right back, both players like attacking, but they also defend well, putting in some crucial tackles and bring the ball out of defence.
Cooper and Hird are building a good Partnership, and they also have good protection from Togwell, which takes some of the pressure off.
Hird speaking to the official club website said: 'It's going well, we are moving up the table slowly but surely, but because of our poor start we are still playing catch up. We believe we are one of, if not the best team in the league at the minute, we're showing we can mix it with the teams at the top of this league. But we've got to keep showing it and move up the table. '
It's great to see the belief that Cook has already installed into his players. The hard work in training is paying off. They are much fitter and they trust and believe in Cook and his system of playing and the tactics he uses.
Hird goes onto say: 'The way we are playing at the minute, we want to take that into our home form and make the Proact a fortress. We've got a really good squad, you look at our bench tonight and we've got quality all over the field. Jay has come in and done really well and the few players who have dropped out of the team will be wanting to prove themselves and get back in. We've got a strong squad and we're going to need it if we are to get up that table.
It is great to see them wanting to wear the shirt, they now know that their place in the team isn't a forgone conclusion, they know if they don't perform they will lose their place.
Hird continues: 'Coops (Liam Cooper) has been good for us, he's a solid centre-back and the last three or four games as a back-four, we're getting some sort of understanding and that is starting to show.'
With Cooper here until January 5th, that's another 6 games left for him to play. I know Paul Cook is keen to keep Cooper, hopefully some kind of deal can be agreed with Hull City when the transfer window opens up. He is a quality player that we need to keep if we want to progress to a higher level and beyond. It's along time since we have had a defence capable of keeping clean sheets, even in the Championship season the club leaked goals.
Since Cooper arrived at the club Hird as grown in confidence and they seem to compliment each other. They have kept two clean sheets in a row in league 2. To keep a clean sheet at Vale Park on Saturday against the leagues Top scorers who had already scored 44 goals before that game was some achievement.
Date:Monday December 10 2012
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