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Caldwell: "We have to learn quickly and grow."

9 August 2017

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Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell says that his team must learn quickly after their Carabao Cup first round exit at Sheffield Wednesday last night.

Caldwell’s men took the lead in the match at Hillsborough, thanks to a Kristian Dennis penalty, but goals from Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Barry Bannan and Sam Hutchinson gave the Owls a 4-1 victory.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Caldwell said: “We were playing a high quality side from back to front with some international players in some positions and we had to really defend well to see off their threat.

“We got the goal to go in front, but the disappointing thing is that we should come in leading, then we’d have a real chance to go on and win the game, but we shoot ourselves in the foot defensively with two bad goals.

“In the second half it was similar, we started growing into the game and creating opportunities, look a threat on the counter attack and then concede two poor goals after that, so while there are positives to take again there’s the disappointment of conceding goals too easily.

“It’s that frustration that we crumble in those tough moments, the players are disappointed, we’ve spoke about it in the changing room, but we have to learn from it quickly and grow.”

Caldwell made four changes from last Saturday’s league match with Grimsby Town, with Dennis, Bradley Barry, Laurence Maguire and Jak McCourt all coming into the side at the expense of the suspended Ian Evatt, Jordan Sinnott (injured), Charlie Wakefield and Robbie Weir.

The changes meant a change of formation for the Spireites and Caldwell explained his thinking behind the shift from a back four to a back three.

He said: “I felt with the players we had it suited us, with the wing backs and having Kristian in the hole to be a threat on the counter attack and I thought we did look a threat first half.

“In the second half we dropped Kristian and Gozie [Ugwu] in more but still tried to get them in from there, so it was always our intention to be hard to beat first but with counter from there.”

Despite the heavy score line the Spireites once again created a large number of chances against their Sky Bet Championship opponents with Dennis, Chris O’Grady and Louis Reed all going close before Bannan’s crucial third goal.

Comparisons could be made with the Grimsby performance and Caldwell has urged his team to be more ruthless in front of goal.

“We have to score more, we have to be more clinical and that’s what we have to take from the first two games,” the Scot commented.

“In the second half we had good opportunities to get back into the game but didn’t take them, we have to find that clinical edge in the attacking third and penalty area.”

Next up for the Spireites is a return to League Two action, when they visit Notts County at Meadow Lane on Saturday, 3pm.

A large number of Chesterfield fans made the trip to Hillsborough and gave the team superb backing, with Caldwell calling for the same level of support at the weekend.

“They were fantastic,” Caldwell added. “It was difficult for them being at the top of the stand, but you certainly heard them, we need their backing again against Notts County on Saturday.”

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