Cook is feeling confident for second leg against PNE

Preston North End's Joe Garner battles past Chesterfield's Sam Hird
Preston North End's Joe Garner battles past Chesterfield's Sam Hird
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Chesterfield manager Paul Cook thinks his side are still well in contention in their play-off semi-final tie with Preston North End

Cook is relishing bringing the Spireites to Deepdale and trying to overcome the narrow deficit.

Cook said: “We played well but you must also give Preston great credit.

“Everyone knows they had a massively disappointing day on Sunday at Colchester.

“They came back from there having not been promoted which would have been hard to take.

“Simon Grayson is a very experienced manager and has some terrifically good players in his team.

“After the disappointment of conceding early on, I thought we were terrific.

“We wanted to get forward and wanted to play.

“At times we are so naive with some of the things we do but we are also very honest in how we play. It was a good game, there was always a bit of spice in there and that is how it should be.

“We are looking forward to Sunday, Preston will know that we are still alive. At 1-0 the next goal in the tie is huge and we believe we can get it.

“If we don’t, we will keep working away and doing our best for that 90 minutes.

“When you go up against these teams you can get found out if you are not good enough.

“That certainly didn’t happen to us last night.

“When you see how we had them on the back foot, how heavy they were breathing and how we tried to move the ball about, that tells you about our performance.

“Preston are a good side, you don’t get the points they did, the goals and the unbeaten run by being lucky – it is down to the players.

“We knew it would be a difficult tie. I felt if we drew, that would be a good result to take up there. At 1-0 there is not much into it. The next goal is huge and I believe we can get it.”

The game’s talking point surrounded a tussle between Jimmy Ryan and Paul Gallagher which saw the Chesterfield midfielder elbow Gallagher in the face.

It should have been a red card for Ryan but referee Mark Haywood booked both instead.

Cook added: “The referee made his bed early on, Welsh and Gallagher should have been booked early for things.

“In the end he made it difficult to make a big decision.

“I didn’t think it was a yellow for Gallagher by the way, I thought it was a yellow for Jimmy Ryan. The referee did his best, he turned up wanting to have an open game and at times we couldn’t get that going.”