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Caldwell: "I was delighted with how they went about it."

22 January 2017

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Spireites boss Gary Caldwell was happy with his team's performance in the 0-0 draw with AFC Wimbledon at the Proact.

It was a case of what might have been for Chesterfield, who were the more dominant of the two sides, but there’s plenty for the new manager to take from the game.

“I thought they were great, they really went about their business in a fantastic manner,” Caldwell told Player HD.

“They played some fantastic football, and it was just that final most difficult bit of putting the ball in the net that wasn’t there today.

“But in terms of having three days to work with them and trying to put some things in place, I was delighted with how they went about it.”

There was an attacking look to the Spireites starting 11, with Gboly Ariyibi and Rai Simons playing in the wide positions, with Jay O’Shea in the hole behind main striker Ched Evans.

All four saw a lot of the ball in the early stages and despite not converting possession into goals, Caldwell was pleased with their efforts.

He said: “We’ve got a lot of good attacking players, and the wingers that we’ve got here are very talented and I thought we had to control the game with the ball and get the ball to them and let them go and attack.

“Rai and Gboly on the other side at times were sensational in their attack play, it was just the final pass or putting it in the net is the most important thing. We just need that little bit of calmness under pressure and once we get that we’ll score a lot of goals with the talent that we have.”

There was also a new-look midfield, with Dan Gardner playing centrally alongside Jon Nolan, and the two combined well throughout the match.

“Dan hasn’t played that position too often, but I felt that with him playing deeper and the quality he has on the ball would give us a real platform to build from,” Caldwell added.

“Some of his passing and decision making on the ball was fantastic and that gave us the opportunity to get it into those wide areas and cause them problems.”

Another positive to take, was that the defence and goalkeeper Ryan Fulton kept their second clean sheet in successive games, and were rarely troubled by the Wimbledon forwards. 

And while the manager was satisfied with that, he believes there’s still more to come.

Caldwell said: “We’ve only had three days together, and to get the work in that I wanted was difficult but we managed to touch on different things, but as we keep working over the coming weeks, on defensive situations then I’m sure we can still improve.

“But two clean sheets in the last two weeks is a great platform to build on, I think anyone will say if you get clean sheets then it gives you a chance to go on and win games.”

The new manger was given a rapturous reception from the Spireites faithful prior to kick-off, and was impressed with the atmosphere created inside the Proact.

On the supporters, Caldwell said: “They were great, and they stayed with the team right the way through, we just couldn’t get the ball over the line for them.

“They’ve been fantastic since I came into the club, and we need them to keep coming in big numbers and get behind the players.”

And with a two week break until their next fixture with Oldham Athletic on February 4, Caldwell will be using that time to further impose his ideas on the squad.

He said: “It’s a good chance for us to get the right balance of rest, work and put some different things into the team that I want to bring. 

“I’m delighted with what I’ve seen so far and I’m looking forward to working with the players and improve further on that.”

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