Spireites boss Gary Caldwell, praised his team's desire and commitment as they defeated Port Vale 1-0 at the Proact yesterday.Joe Rowley's first goal for the club settled matters, in what was the first home win in Caldwell's tenure as Chesterfield manager.
Speaking exclusively to Player HD, Caldwell said: “I’m delighted with the players, in the last couple of weeks the difference in the application, the work during the week and in the games has been fantastic. And they got what they deserved because of their attitude.
“I think we can all agree that we can probably play better, in the first half our passing was loose, while second half we looked a threat on the counter attack, but in terms of desire, commitment, and doing what it takes to win, and I can’t ask for anymore off them, and I’m delighted for them because they deserve it.”
With no midweek games since March 14, Caldwell and his staff have enjoyed more time working with the players on the training field, and he believes that everyone is reaping the benefits.
He said: “I think it takes time for everyone to get to know each other and the training methods to start sinking in. And when it starts to come off the confidence comes.
“The shape and the desire to not concede a goal was very good today – that’s two and a half games where we’ve not conceded a goal and that’s difficult to do in any league.
“That doesn’t happen by chance, that’s hard work on the training pitch, desire from the players, and a real team ethic to stop the ball going into the net, and when you do that you give yourself a chance of winning games.”
Spireites goal scorer, Rowley, followed up his first professional contract signing on Friday, with another impressive display, not to mention him reacting first after Kristian Dennis’ shot was parried out by Vale ‘keeper Deniz Mehmet.
“He’s magnificent,” Caldwell said. “I say it every week, some people may think I’m over hyping him because he’s a young player but I’m not, his performances are showing that.
“I don’t need to say any words, people need to come and watch him to see how good he is, he does an attacking role for the team and with his energy he gets us up the pitch, he’s got great feet.
“But not only that, later on in the game I gave him defensive responsibilities and a job to do for the team, he understands the game and followed that instruction out as well.
“So I’m delighted for him, he knows he’s got to keep working, and I’m looking forward to working with him and try to make him better.”
Caldwell kept the same back three that featured against Bolton Wanderers in the previous fixture and he praised their impact, along with that of goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann.
He added: “They were tremendous, it’s that work on the training pitch that gives them the belief in what they’re doing.
“Thorsten makes a great save at a crucial point in the game and Sam [Hird], Tom [Anderson] and Laurence [Maguire] all make blocks, headers and tackles at crucial moments and that’s what you have to do to win football games.
“It’s not rocket science you have to do the ugly side of the game if you want to get clean sheets and give you that opportunity to win, and we’ve done that well recently.”
The Spireites' next match is on Friday, April 14, when Southend United visit the Proact, and then three days later Caldwell's men face a trip to Scunthorpe United.
It's a quick turnaround, and Caldwell has said that he will need all of the squad to play a part.
“Everyone has to contribute," the manager stated. "I said to the subs that didn’t come on, next weekend we play Friday-Monday and we need every player in our squad ready to contribute to those games.
“We’ll work again in the week preparing for Southend, then it’s a quick turnaround where we’ll have to recover.
“We’ll use the squad and look to give the players who haven’t had many minutes the chance to provide energy for the team, so it’s a big week for everyone at the club.”