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Caldwell: "The sending off changes everything."

13 August 2017

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Manager Gary Caldwell felt that Scott Wiseman's sending off heavily influenced the Spireites’ 2-0 defeat at Notts County.

Wiseman was shown a straight red card shortly before the half time interval at Meadow Lane, after he was adjudged to have brought down County winger Terry Hawkridge - an incident which to many inside the ground didn’t look worthy of a dismissal.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Caldwell said: “It didn’t look like it from where I was!

“I think it must happen 20-30 times a game where a defender runs across the striker to stop them running and hitting our goalkeeper.

“I thought that the crowd were on the ref and he gave them everything all game, in fact he even got decisions wrong in the second half where they could’ve had a penalty! He had a bad day.”

Second-half goals from Magpies substitute Jorge Grant gave the home side all three points, though prior to Wiseman’s dismissal, Caldwell felt the match had been pretty even.

“We defended extremely well dealing with the aerial threat that they had,” he said.

“But we didn’t pass the ball as well as we can and we didn’t keep them further away from our goal than we should do.

“The sending off changes everything and we’re playing the second half with a man down.

“I have to say that the players that were on and those who did come on were excellent in the way that they played.

“We still looked in control of the game and created opportunities. It’s disappointing to lose the goals that we did and lose the game in the end.”

The match again saw the Spireites create good opportunities, with striker Gozie Ugwu forcing a good save from keeper Adam Collin, after he was put through by Bradley Barry.

So had Ugwu’s effort gone in, would the game have ended differently?

“It’s all ifs, buts and maybes, but we have to be more clinical,” Caldwell acknowledged.

“I felt that in the first half we could have passed the ball better and in the second half with a man down we did that and showed more bravery and passed the ball better.

“But it wasn’t enough and we have to regroup and go again next week.”

Caldwell was impressed with the contribution made by Delial Brewster after the striker joined the action from bench. The former Everton man looked sharp and the manager hinted that he could feature more in the coming weeks.

"He can still do more and give us a bigger threat as he is a handful," said Caldwell.

“He has to grab these opportunities when they come. He created one good chance for himself and he gave their defence something else to think about with his pace and power down the side.”

After two away matches, the Spireites return to the Proact for their next fixture, with Port Vale the visitors.

Following three defeats from the three opening games, Caldwell is confident that the tide will turn soon. He added: “We have to keep going, keep the belief and work hard in training.

“Nothing’s going our way at the moment and that sometimes happens in football. We need to stay together as a group and as a football club, look forward to next week and get our season up and running.”

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