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Caldwell: "It’s a big game, every game’s big"

3 February 2017

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Gary Caldwell looks ahead to his second game in charge of the Spireites when Oldham Athletic visit the Proact.

It’s been a hectic fortnight for the boss, having overseen double training sessions during the break from action and then adding five players to his squad, while letting go of three. 

He's hoping that his playing style will be fully implemented against Oldham and expects a step up from his team. 

“I think the team changed the way they played two weeks ago, where there was a huge difference in the way they played the game,” Caldwell explained. 

“They passed the ball with great quality, and had good width, but we just didn’t put the ball in the net. 

“These players that have come in have given me options and any manager will tell you that the more options you have then the better it is. It makes your job harder, I must admit. 

“The Wimbledon team was the easiest team I’ve picked, but this week, to pick a team has been difficult, that’s a great position to be in.

Tomorrow’s visitors Oldham are in a similar situation to Chesterfield. They recently changed their manager – bringing in former Spireites boss John Sheridan - and sit 23rd in League One.

It’s a game tagged with the old cliché of a ‘relegation six pointer’ but Caldwell insist every game is equally as vital. 

He said: “It’s a big game, every game’s big. 

“We’ve got 18 huge games between now and the end of the season. The home games are going to be important as they always are, so we look forward to it. 

“We hope the fans are excited with the new players coming in so we hope they come with a real passion for the game and get behind us straight away. 

“We want to hit the ground running and gain a bit of momentum going into the latter part of the season.”

And despite their lowly league position, the manager is aware of the threat that they pose.

Caldwell explained: “They’re a good side; I’ve seen them against Peterborough.

“They’re strong at the back, they’ve got experience there. They’re a threat going forward with the new signings that they’ve made. 

“Ryan Flynn’s the creative spark of the team. They work extremely hard for the manager; he always does well when he goes back there."  

The squad is looking in much better shape with long term absentees Dan Jones and Angel Martinez looking good to be involved.

Though there is one fresh injury problem with Sam Hird set to miss out, but there was better news regarding Tom Anderson. 

“Sam’s calf was tight and in training he felt a bit of tightness again, it’s nothing serious but he’ll probably be out for Saturday. Tom has been back training all week with the players so it’s good to have him. Everyone else is fit and raring to go,” Caldwell added.

There could also be a number of debutants following a busy deadline day but Caldwell is happy with the business he did.

He said: “It was busy, as it always is. I’d say out of all the deadline days I’ve had it was my most enjoyable and my most fruitful.

“I was on my way home at 6pm and I could put my feet up for the last four hours of the window knowing that everything that we wanted to do was done, and we were very happy with the signings that we made. 

“I thank the club for their efforts in bringing the players that we did.”

Osman Kakay, Reece Brown, Liam Grimshaw, David Faupala and Sadiq El Fitouri are all set to be in the squad and all have been very keen to make a good impression.

“They all excite me; the players that are here already excite me. I see a group in training that’s full of quality, energy and eager to show how good they are,” Caldwell said.

“I think that was the thing when we had everyone together, that first 20 minutes was too frantic, it was like the first day of school. 

“Everyone wanted to show how good they are but I had to say to them that we know you’re good players so just do what you do and once they settled down and played their normal games I saw a lot of quality. I’m looking forward to working with this group between now and the end of the season.”

Deadline day also saw Liam O’Neil and Gboly Ariyibi leave the Proact for Cambridge United and Nottingham Forest respectively. And the manager explained that it was the players who wanted to depart. 

He said: “They didn’t have to go, they wanted to go and speak to the clubs and see what was there for them. 

“Both were happy to leave and the club got the finances that they felt the players were worth, so it was good for all parties, we felt it was the right thing to do.” 

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