Chesterfield manager Danny Wilson hailed the resilience of his players after they marked their opening fixture of 2017 with a 0-0 draw at home to MK Dons.
It was a match that didn’t produce a lot of goal scoring opportunities, but never the less it was a result that Wilson believes his team can take heart from.
Speaking to Player HD after the game he said: “I thought it was a very tough encounter, we were up against a very good side.
“The quality that MK Dons have especially from the bench let alone the starting 11, shows that they’re a side that should be challenging for the top two positions.
“So we knew we were going to have a tough tough game – and it was – though I don’t think it was a great game and we needed to come out with something, and we did! We came out of it with a great clean sheet in my opinion.”
The clean sheet was largely helped by the form of on loan goalkeeper Ryan Fulton, who made two brilliant second half saves to deny MK striker Nicky Maynard what looked certain goals.
Fulton came back into the starting 11 in last Friday’s match with Port Vale, and the Spireites boss expressed his delight with his form.
“He played very well and I thought he played very well last week in fairness to him,” Wilson said “but in this match he looked everything we wanted a goalkeeper to be.
“He was confident to come out for balls, he was kicking very well and also very confident in his saving. Ryan played very well today.”
In addition to Fulton’s heroics in the Spireites goal, there were also strong performances from the back four of Liam O’Neil, Tom Anderson, Ian Evatt and Dion Donohue.
In the absence of Sam Hird (who’s suffering from flu), all four played a part in securing what could be an important point at the end of the season, something Wilson further emphasised.
He said: “From our perspective we know that if we are to do anything in this half of the season then we’ve got to start producing some clean sheets.
“You won’t win many games if you concede and that is a priority for us. I don’t care what anyone thinks, you won’t win games every week 5-4, and the more clean sheets we can get the better chance we have of winning games. This result has given us a good platform, let’s hope we can build on it.”
At the other end of the pitch Jake Beesley returned to the starting 11 for the first time since the 5-2 defeat at Peterborough last month.
“He runs off the back of people and he’s very game,” Wilson explained “we know that he’s not the finished article but he gives you everything and plays his heart out, and that’s what we needed.
“We wanted energy up front and someone to play alongside Ched [Evans] and give him a helping hand.
“So we wanted to get at them when we could, and also knew what a big threat they are. And we’d be very naïve if we thought we would just go end to end and play open expansive football, because they’d be too good for us at that.”
After three games in the space of a week, Chesterfield are next in action on Saturday, when they travel to Bradford City.
It will be another tough test for the Spireites, but Wilson is confident that his team can get a result from Valley Parade after what he witnessed against MK.
Wilson added: “We’ve kept a good side at bay for large parts of the game. And that’s we have to do, we go away and need to be as resolute as we were today.
“Will we have it our own way? No, I don’t think so. But what we will have is a threat to them as well, and I think away from home where there’s a little less pressure on us we can come away with a positive result again.”