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Caldwell: "I think it was the least that we deserved."

15 February 2017

Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell was understandably happy as his team secured a 1-1 draw away at Gillingham.

A 93rd minute goal from defender Tom Anderson ensured the Spireites left Kent with a point, after Max Ehmer’s goal looked to have given the home side all three points.

Speaking exclusively to Player HD, Caldwell said: “I think it was the least that we deserved in how we tried to play the game.

“In the second half we created two excellent chances, and lost a poor goal from our point of view. So I don’t think it was unduly deserved, it’s great to get and gives the boys a lift when they needed it.”

“Every point now is massive, and psychologically when you score in the last minute it feels like a win.”

Caldwell made two changes to the team that lost to Northampton Town last Saturday, handing a debut to Osman Kakay at right wing back, while Reece Mitchell replaced Dan Jones – who pulled out of the game due to illness.

Both Kakay and Mitchell endured a busy night, working up and down their respective flanks, and the manager was pleased with their efforts and those of substitutes Rai Simons and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake.

“I just think that wing back is a very demanding position, and we have a lot of games,” Caldwell said of the changes. “So I felt that I would freshen it up, and both of them were outstanding on the night.

“As I’ve said all along we’ve got a squad, and I felt that the subs who came on affected the game in a positive way, and we need everyone to be a part of it, it’s not just the 11 players that start. 

“It’s everyone who has to help between now and the end of the season.”

The loss of Jones before the game, and that of Ched Evans to an ankle injury was a blow to the Spireites, who showed brilliant character to overcome such adversities after being under pressure from the Gills for long periods of the game.

Caldwell said: “We had to ride our luck at times, we knew coming here they’d put the long throw in the box, and in the first half they had a lot of corners, they hit the post – after Lloyd Allinson made a fantastic save. 

“But overall I felt in the game we really applied ourselves well, we looked like a team that were going to be really difficult to beat, and did the ugly part of the game much better than we did on Saturday.

“That was a really pleasing aspect, and with that point we can use it as momentum to go and get all three on Saturday.”

Anderson’s late equaliser could be a big point for the Spireites in their bid to beat the drop from Sky Bet League One.

Next up are Bury who visit the Proact this Saturday (3pm), and Caldwell wants his team to take the confidence from the Priestfield result into the match with the Shakers.

He said: “We have to make sure this a big point by winning on Saturday. 

“I saw a team tonight that was fighting and giving everything. I’m sure Bury won’t like coming to the Proact with a big crowd behind us and we can make this a really good week after a disappointing start.”