“I’m proud, really proud of the team”

Following yesterday’s play-off defeat at Notts County, manager James Rowe praised his players.

He said: “I’m proud, really proud of the team. The gods weren’t with us with the goalkeeper getting injured. We were in complete control at that point, and they had run out of ideas.

“They can have possession and territory up to the mid-third as much as they want. We trapped them in superbly.

“We had better chances to win it and we didn’t take them. Even at the end, to make it 3-3, how we’ve missed, I’ll never know.

“We created numerous opportunities away from home. At half time we were really comfortable. I don’t want to single out many players but Gavin Gunning at the back was outstanding and Jack Clarke really came of age.”

James Montgomery picked up a knock in the second half and continued to play on as there was no goalkeeper on the bench.

Rowe provided an update on Montgomery and his thoughts on the five substitutue rule, saying: “He can’t walk, so credit to him for carrying on.

“I was asked the question in the press conference on why we haven’t got seven subs at elite level. We got hit with ‘Monty’ and Manny [Oyeleke] at the same time.

“It’s come back to roost today. You toy with putting a goalie on at this stage but then you sacrifice one in the outfield. I’ve chosen wrong today, and I’ll take that on my shoulders.”

Since October 6, Chesterfield have played 43 games and completely changed their season around from a relegation threatened campaign to a play-off one. Rowe stated that his side now deserve a rest and they have to look towards the future.

“It’s a tough one; it’s a tough loss to lose it in that manner,” he said. “We need a rest now. We deserve a rest.

“We’ve gone hammer and tongue since December, and we are really disappointed to lose in that manner. But we now look forwards.”