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Tommy Proud of Players

1 September 2012

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Caretaker manager Tommy Wright revealed he was proud of his players after a hard-fought draw against table-topping Gillingham, as the Spireites had to settle for their third successive 1-1 draw at Priestfield on Saturday afternoon. Craig Westcarr returned to the starting eleven to volley the visitors in front after just 13 minutes, before Danny Kedwell's towering header hauled the hosts level seven minutes later.

Both sides traded blows in an entertaining contest thereafter, but Chesterfield found home stopper Stuart Nelson in inspired form as he denied on-loan Huddersfield left-back Liam Ridehalgh deep into stoppage time before Westcarr was harshly dismissed for two bookable offences. But in the end, a share of the spoils was a fair reflection of the game in Kent and following a difficult week, the Scotsman was pleased with his players' application.

"I'm proud of the players," the new caretaker told Spireites Player after the game.

"I thought their commitment was great, it's a difficult place to come. They've won every game in the league this season, so for my first game it was a difficult place to come and I thought overall we had the more clearcut chances throughout the game. I thought we played well.

"We counter-attacked really well and had one or two good openings," he added.

"Their keeper made a couple of really, really good saves and we had one or two blocked. It was probably an exciting game to watch, there wasn't too much football played at times, it was very direct and you get caught up in that. But when we did get the ball down and play, I thought we looked a threat.

Former Notts County man Westcarr was a constant threat on his return to the side, and he met Terrell Forbes' delightful cross with a perfectly-timed volley at the far post. He was later sent-off for allegedly kicking the ball away, meaning he will miss Tuesday's visit of Oldham in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but the caretaker remained coy when quizzed about the referee's decision.

"I think Westy was saying he never heard the whistle," he said.

"Sometimes you've got to give the player the benefit of the doubt, especially when he's going to be sent off.

"So we're a wee bit disappointed with that. Ill speak to the ref, but as I said, it's been a hectic week and i'm pleased for the players because they worked hard for me in training. We've tried to do one or two things in training and I thought we took it into the match and we also had to change the formation and they adapted to that, so that was pleasing as well.

"It was a great cross in from Terrell and a lovely little finish from Craigy in the corner.

"We kind of lost our shape a wee bit after that, so that's why I changed the formation to 5-3-2 because I was worried Weston was getting a bit too much of the ball and Forbesy was getting exposed and I thought we looked a lot more solid."

Chesterfield are still yet to clinch their first win back in the basement division following their relegation from League One last season, as they begin their defence of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at home to Paul Dickov's Latics on Tuesday ahead of next Saturday's trip to Bootham Crescent. 

John Sheridan was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, before striker Jordan Bowery was sold to Aston Villa on deadline day and following a difficult week at the Proact, Wright was pleased that the 196 travelling fans will be content as they make the long trip back to Derbyshire.

"There's not been a lot of time to breathe this week" Wright revealed.

"I've been selling players for thousands of pounds, and trying to get people in. It's been hectic but i've enjoyed it. I was close to bringing people in, but it was probably a bit late to get things done but we'll be working really hard for the following week and hopefully we can show the fans we're working hard to bring players in that will excite them. I think we need a bit more width and pace in the team.

"It might turn out to be a good point, they are unbeaten in the league and have won every game and we gave as good as we got. I appreciate the away support, i've had so much goodwill and people sending me messages so that has been very good for me and Mark and all the staff."

Tommy's post-match interview will be online later tonight.

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