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Caldwell: "We have to make it uncomfortable for their players."

13 February 2017

Gary Caldwell is looking for the Spireites to learn and improve from Saturday’s defeat at Northampton, when they play Gillingham on Tuesday night (7.45pm).

The game at proved a frustrating one for Chesterfield, going forward things improved as the first goal of Caldwell’s tenure was scored and decent chances were created but the manager wasn’t pleased with the basic errors which were made.

“I’ve watched it a few times now. It’s a frustrating watch because we did so many good things in the game,” said Caldwell. 

“The basics of football, running, stopping crosses and tracking your man we didn’t do well enough so we have to get that right first and foremost but a lot of work the players are doing is very positive and I can see really good signs that a win isn’t too far around the corner.” 

Thankfully, the Spireites didn’t come away with any injuries although Ryan Fulton missed the game through injury, but whether he’ll feature at Priestfield is uncertain. 

He said: “Everyone’s fine, they’re recovering today and re-energising their bodies for a big effort on Tuesday night. 

“Ryan’s better but we’ll assess him tomorrow and make a decision then.” 

Caldwell made changes up front with Kristian Dennis coming in for Ched Evans and the Scot insisted that no player is a certainty to start and hinted things could be different again on Tuesday night. 

“He missed a week’s training and I felt physically he could be better,” the manager added.

“I just felt in the game we needed more energy. Kristian’s been training really well, David [Faupala] and him had a good understanding and I felt they played well in the game.

“I thought Ched as an impact sub would be good for the team. I have to use the squad and Ched is a big player for us but no player is guaranteed to start in this team.

“I think every game is different and I have to focus on each game in an individual way and Saturday I felt the players that went out fitted the way we wanted to play against Northampton. Gillingham will be a totally different game and I’ll assess the whole squad and pick the team based on that.” 

February could be a crucial month for the Spireites, particularly the next two games against Gillingham and Bury – both teams who are amongst the relegation battle, but the boss’ doesn’t want to pay attention to anything other than the match itself.

Caldwell said: “I think everyone wants to look at league tables, games and who they’re coming up against but I look at the next game and I can’t concern myself with anything more than that, I haven’t got enough hours in the day to worry about much more than that. 

“I look at Gillingham, I prepare the team, make sure the boys recover and get the right food in them. That’s how I played the game, that’s how I managed so I don’t look any further afield than that. 

“There’s 16 games which is 48 points so I try to win all of them. I don’t look to try to get any figure because that might change depending on other teams, we have to focus on ourselves.” 

Caldwell is well aware of the challenge of a trip to Priestfield. Last season his Wigan team fell to a 2-0 defeat to Gillingham but now knows what’s required to get a result. 

He explained: “It’s a difficult stadium to play in, I went there last season and it’s an awkward small pitch, tight ground and the fans get behind them. 

“They’re slipping towards relegation as well and they will feel the pressure of playing at home, so we have to make it uncomfortable for their players.” 

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