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Caldwell:"I’m delighted with the application."

5 July 2017

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Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell declared himself pleased with his team’s efforts after victory in their opening pre-season fixture with Sheffield FC.

Goals from Ian Evatt, Kristian Dennis, Dion Donohue and Ricky German secured a 4-1 win in a match that the Spireites could have won by a greater margin.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow Caldwell said: “I’m delighted with the application from everyone, the players have had a hard two weeks.

“They came out with fatigue in their legs but still managed to produce a lot of quality and create a lot of chances throughout the whole game.

“I think they won the ball back really well in a difficult game against a hardworking opposition and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Caldwell fielded two different XI’s in the match at the Coach and Horses Stadium with the majority of players playing 45 minutes.

The two different teams featured a mixture of new signings, long serving players as well academy graduates Jay Smith, Charlie Wakefield and Joe Rowley, all of whom impressed the Scot with their levels of fitness and technical ability.

“Everyone’s looking really strong,” Caldwell asserted.

“There’s no disappointments from me, I thought everyone applied themselves really well.

“We still have a lot to work on, the team still has a lot of improvements and the players know that so we’ll continue to work throughout preseason to improve but I’m delighted with a lot of what I’ve seen.

“It’s a great experience for a lot of the young lads who’ve joined us tonight to play with first team players and to have that opportunity – a lot of them have been training with us day-in-day-out so they know what we’re trying to achieve together.”

The Spireites next friendly is a trip to Matlock Town on Thursday night (7.30pm) where they will compete for the Vertu Toyota Cup. With Caldwell expecting a similar test to that posed by Sheffield FC.

He said: “I think every game will be similar – they [Sheffield FC] put us under pressure and made it difficult so we have to work out the solutions and find the passes to breakthrough that.

“There’s still a bit of rotation that we need to improve on but it’s early days and we will continue to work on that in the coming weeks”

Meanwhile Caldwell has confirmed that long-serving goalkeeper Tommy Lee is progressing well in his recovery from a shoulder injury.

The former Manchester United man has trained throughout pre-season but last night’s clash was deemed too soon for him to feature, though Caldwell has admitted that a return to action is not too far away.

He added: “He has been working with the physios and trainers and we will continue to build him up to get him up to speed, so he’ll hopefully, in a few weeks, be playing in training and able to feature in some of the later pre-season matches.”

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