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Caldwell: "I’m delighted again."

11 July 2017

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Spireites manager Gary Caldwell was once again impressed with his team’s display, after they drew 0-0 with Benfica B this evening.

The result means that the Spireites remain unbeaten in pre-season and also that the team are acclimatising well to conditions on their training camp in Spain and Portugal.

“I’m delighted again, tonight was a totally different challenge to what we’ve faced so far and one of the reasons that we’ve come out here and getting the two games was to experience that,” Caldwell said.

“I thought our shape, our work-rate and understanding of what we had to do was fantastic because they were technically very good.

“They were sharp and moved the ball quickly and posed us problems, though they didn’t create too many clear cut chances if any and we if anything could have just been a little bit better on the counter attack and made that first or second pass a bit crisper to get us out and gave them more problems.”

Tonight’s match required a different tactical approach than the previous friendlies, with the Portuguese side enjoying a lot of possession. Something that Caldwell and his staff were keen to emphasise to the players in their training sessions so far this week.

“It’s something we’ve worked on,” the manager explained.

“Most of the focus last week was how we hurt teams and how we control and use the ball, this week we’re trying to focus on how we are off the ball.

“Tonight we played a little bit deeper and didn’t play as high press as we have been and it gives us options to play many different ways with the ball and without the ball.”

New signings Chris O’Grady and Jak McCourt both made their first appearances for the Spireites following their free transfer arrivals from Brighton & Hove Albion and Northampton Town respectively.

Both of whom impressed the Scot, who believes there’s a lot more to come from them.

He said: “They’ll be the first to admit that they aren’t where they need to be, but they’re working hard in training and we’re giving them minutes, so they’ll get better with every training session and game.

“I thought they were both excellent and we’ve seen the attributes that they will both bring to the team.” 

Meanwhile, Caldwell confirmed that midfielder, Jordan Sinnott and striker, Kristian Dennis, were both rested for tonight’s game as a precaution, with the manager confident that they’ll be able to return to training on Thursday.

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