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Caldwell: "It was thoroughly deserved"

20 August 2017

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Gary Caldwell declared that his team fully deserved their first victory of the season when they beat Port Vale 2-0 at the Proact yesterday.

Kristian Dennis’ third goal of the campaign and a Jordan Sinnott strike gave the Spireites a 2-0 win over the Valiants, with Caldwell impressed with his team’s attacking play.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Caldwell said: “It was thoroughly deserved today. For 20 minutes in the first half, I thought that we were sensational and could have scored more.

“In the second half it’s understandable that we don’t quite know how to play the game at that point as we've not been in that position often, but we will get better at that.

“But the overall performance was excellent in terms of defensively early on and then later on in the half some of our attacking play was superb at times. We’re delighted with the win.”

In the early stages it was the visitors who looked the stronger of the two sides, but Caldwell felt that an increase in the players’ effort was the key to the Spireites producing some eye-catching football, rather than any tactical alterations.

“We changed a little bit tactically in going to a diamond and four at the back, but I don’t think that was the change, the players’ mentality was the change,” the manager explained.

“They started passing the ball and cutting through them, so I don’t think the credit should go to the change in shape, it should go to the players’ mentality and the quality they showed.

“I said to them that they have to show that more, we have to have more belief in what we’re doing and in their ability. If they can show that then they can show their quality for the full 90 minutes.”

Caldwell made three changes to the side with Tommy Lee, Jordan Flores and Sinnott all coming back into the XI in place of Joe Anyon, Gozie Ugwu and Dion Donohue - who moved to Portsmouth on Friday.

Flores has only been with the club since Friday and Caldwell was delighted with the on-loan Wigan man’s ability to put in a performance after just one training session.

He said: “I thought he was magnificent and it was a big turning point in the first half when he moved inside in the first half as he really controlled the game.

“He’s someone you can trust in the game. He carries the ball well and despite having only been here for 24 hours and not being as match fit as he needs to be, I thought he was superb.”

News of Lee’s inclusion prior to the match gave many Spireites fans a boost, though Caldwell admitted that including the former Manchester United man over Anyon was a tough call to make.

“It was hard,” the Scot reflected. “I said to Joe that it’s not easy leaving good players and good people out of the team, but it’s what I have to do.

“I thought Tommy would come in and that the fans would take to it. He was ready for the opportunity and I thought that he did well.”

Next up for the Spireites is a trip to Newport County next Saturday and the manager has now challenged his players to keep their focus and not get too carried away with yesterday’s result and performance.

He added: “When we lose, we can’t get too low about the result and we can’t get too high when we win. We have to build on that going into next week.”

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