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Caldwell Reflects on Bradford Loss

30 August 2017

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Gary Caldwell once again lamented his team’s ability to concede goals, after the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Bradford City at the Proact last night.

Kristian Dennis’ fine strike gave the Spireites the lead, but goals from Omari Patrick and an Alex Jones double in the second half gave the Bantams a 3-1 lead.

Jordan Sinnott pulled a goal back to give the home side hope in the 78th minute before Jacob Hanson sealed the 4-2 victory a minute later.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Caldwell said: “I think we started extremely well, for large parts of the game we played well but it’s ridiculous the amount of goals that we are conceding.

“I picked a formation tonight to protect a bit more and I felt that worked well but the goal we conceded before half time was too easy, it was a short corner and a shot that should be blocked or at least be put under more pressure.

“And then second half we concede simple goals that are too easy to score against us, but some of our play on the ball was outstanding and we scored two great goals again, but it’s still nowhere near good enough.”

The match marked the third time this season that the Spireites have conceded four in a match, so what can be done to put a stop to it?

“Hard work on the training ground and desire from the players,” Caldwell asserted.

“There has to be an individual desire and man against man they can’t get by you and get shots off as easy, football is a difficult game and in the difficult moments we have to many players that don’t want to stand up and be counted and go toe to toe with people and say ‘you aren’t getting a shot in off’.

“We have to improve on that quickly because conceding that amount of goals is nowhere near good enough.”

Despite the defeat, Caldwell was impressed with what his team produced as an attacking threat, while also praising the efforts of on-loan midfielders Louis Reed and Jordan Flores.

He said: “I thought on the ball we did well and that both Jordan Flores and Louis Reed were outstanding tonight.

“Louis gets back and tackles and makes it difficult for people, Jordan on the ball was sensational and worked extremely hard.

“He’s still not at full fitness but lasted the pace and that’s the standard that we have to follow.

“It’s difficult to score, yet we keep scoring great goals, whether it’s through an individual or via playing from the goalkeeper, right the way up to the strikers, but that’s only one part of the game we’re doing right, we’re not doing the other right to win games.”

Midfielder Connor Dimaio was brought back in to the starting XI for his first match of the season, but sadly, the Ireland U21 international’s evening was cut short as he suffered what looked to be a serious injury, which resulted in him being stretchered off the field.

“It looks a bad one,” Caldwell said. “It looks like he’s done some sort of damage to his ankle, it’s pretty swollen.

“It’s a real disappointment for him because he’s looked good in training in the last couple of weeks and the start he had to the game was good.

“He looked bright and energetic, so it’s a disappointment for him, but he’ll be back if he shows quality he’s shown in the last couple of weeks and the hunger for the game that he’s shown and he’ll be a big part of what we’re trying to do.”

Meanwhile, Caldwell has confirmed that the club are unlikely to be busy during the latter stages of the transfer window, though the club will be ‘ready to act’ if the right player becomes available.

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