"We'll be bang up for it," says Cooper as Town prepare to take on runaway leaders Chesterfield

Assistant manager Andy Cooper says Town will be bang up for the challenge of beating runaway leaders Chesterfield and insists The Spireites hold no fear for them.
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Halifax go into the game having won their last three matches in a row, the latest being Saturday's 2-1 home victory over Woking.

Chesterfield are a massive 20 points clear of second-placed Bromley, who they lost to on Saturday, and have been far and away the best team in the National League this season.

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When asked Town can beat them tomorrow night, Cooper said: "Lean on experiences we've had before when we've done it.

Andy CooperAndy Cooper
Andy Cooper

"Teams have come here before with long unbeaten records and we've been able to go toe-to-toe with anyone.

"It shows anyone can beat anyone in the league. In the same way we approached the away game where ultimately, we felt we could have come away with something that night after a poor start.

"It's making sure we always stick to our basics in what we're doing but we have no fear or doubts in playing a team like that.

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"We massively respect what they're doing and Paul Cook and their staff for how they've had time to build and evolve a squad and a playing style but we went toe-to-toe with them at their place and we'll be bang up for it for sure."

The Shaymen don't expect any of Town's injured players to be in contention for Tuesday's game with Chesterfield, although striker Rob Harker will return to full training this week.

Town looked dead on their feet towards the end of Saturday's win against Woking, but will have few options to change things.

"It'll be driven by the staff to make sure the lads have proper rest and recovery and we get all the time we can off their feet and make sure we manage the training load right and the preparation for Tuesday," Cooper said.

"Make sure we're fresh mentally as well.

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"When you play the league leaders at home, there'll be extra motivation there in terms of the magnitude of the game, everyone wants to be involved in the big games.

"We've had great success here and good days against teams that were flying in the league, last season with Wrexham, so in terms of motivation and trying to put our stamp on the rest of the season, we'll be bang up for it.

"But it's about how we recover and making sure we're fully ready and prepared but we won't treat it any differently to the normal Saturday-Tuesday turnaround, we just need to be mindful that we're a number of weeks into it now and people are creaking, but that's normal and every club has to deal with it.

"We respect the opposition but we think about us first and foremost, what's the right team, what's the right bench, what's the right approach to win the game.

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"It's pretty obvious the lads have had such a heavy workload recently but they'll be bang up for it and no doubt they'll all be up for selection and want to play."

Also looking knackered on Saturday was The Shay pitch, which will host its third game in a week.

"It can be but we just have to get on with it and make sure we prepare in the best way," said Cooper when asked if the surface will be a factor in the game.

"It's a challenge we've faced before and it definitely won't be any excuse, it's up to us to make sure we get into the right frame of mind to try and take them on."

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One thing Cooper doesn't see the game as though is a free hit.

"No, it's another opportunity to get points on the board and stamp our mark on the season and keep going," he said.

"We know we're going to have to suffer in games and there's times where it's difficult, not everything goes how you want it.

"Last season when we played top of the league, we went 1-0 down early but the crowd rallied behind us and on that day, it was by no means a free hit, it was a really well executed tactical game-plan that we put together, that the lads bought into and delivered so there's no reason why we feel we can't do that again."