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Gardner: “Ritchie has come in and put a smile on our faces.”

15 January 2017

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Match-winner Dan Gardner praised the impact made by caretaker boss Ritchie Humphreys after the 1-0 win over Coventry City.

After a frustrating 76 minutes of football, Gardner’s cracking strike into the top right corner broke the deadlock and sealed a vital victory in the Spireites’ search for survival this season. 

The winger has cut a forlorn figure this year having been in and out of the side, but proved his worth against relegation rivals Coventry City having been granted a chance by caretaker manager Ritchie Humphreys. 

The 26-year-old will be hoping to impress the new manager, but spoke glowingly about Humphreys short time in charge of the Spireites. 

“It has been class, Ritchie is a class guy,” Gardner said “we have had him in the changing room with us, and we know what Ritchie is about, he has come in and put a smile on our faces and brought positivity to the team. 

“He told us to play football in the way that he knows we can, so he has been first class, as has Dukey [Matt Duke].” 

“Ritchie gave me the freedom to get on the ball, and play forward passes, it was a good role for me today.

The Manchester-born midfielder admitted that the goal was among the best he has scored, but reinstate the importance of the victory as team as they fight for their future in League One.

“It was a massive win for us to beat Coventry, who are around and about us, a massive win,” Gardner emphatically told Player HD. 

“I have scored a few good goals to be honest, but the feeling of that one was great, and the position that we are in, it was a massive goal. 

“I was hoping that we could hold on and get the victory that we did and yeah it was a good goal for me.

“We just need to concentrate on ourselves at the minute and take it game by game, and hopefully keep winning.” 

The game was blemished by a freak injury to Tom Anderson who was forced off on a stretcher after colliding with centre-back partner Ian Evatt, and Gardner praised the resilience of the team for regrouping and grinding out the win. 

“It was a horrible collision with Evatt, Evo has just caught him and I hope he is okay, but we had to dig in and Sam Hird had to drop back, but we kept our shape and we done great to hold on.”

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