Chesterfield assistant manager, Steve Eyre, has praised the desire and application of the Spireites squad as they approach the new season.
Eyre, along with manager Gary Caldwell held a team meeting yesterday, talking about what it takes to be successful and come back stronger in the 2017/18 campaign and he says that the meeting was a very positive one.
He said: “It’s a long season, but we’re here for now.
“We’ve got short-term and medium targets; the end target is to be successful by the end of the season via promotion.
“We’re here to make our mark and that’s not just been led by the staff, we’ve encouraged player interaction and what we’ve got back from them has been absolutely fantastic.
“There are some great characters and knowledge in the dressing room, so we’ve embraced that and we’re encouraged to hear it and we’re sharing the football knowledge around and that can only be good.”
The Spireites are stepping up their preparations for the Sky Bet League Two campaign with a pre-season training camp in Spain and Portugal.
Following a recovery day on Wednesday, the players completed a double session on Thursday, with the evening session being described by captain Ian Evatt as being ‘9.9 out of 10 for brutality’.
If an experienced defender like Evatt says that then it must have been brutal, so was it that hard?
“We’ll take his word for it,” said Eyre.
“We set the lads up for it, they’ve known for a while that yesterday would be the toughest day, once they get through it they’ll probably think that it wasn’t as tough as we’d planned.
“But it was fantastic, it was met head on by the players. It wasn’t just running for the sake of running, there was tactical and football work involved, there was a pulling together, a character involved too, it was a great session.
“The quick turnaround in getting back to the hotel and training again will only add to our season.”
The Spireites have already played one match on their tour, Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Benfica B and will play another tomorrow at 6.30pm, against Sky Bet Championship side Middlesbrough.
It’s a fixture that will provide another good test for the Sprieites who’ll face a ‘Boro side under a new manager in Garry Monk.
Prior to the Benfica game, the Spireites worked on their setup without the ball and Eyre admits that this will happen again, though they’ll also focus on attacking areas on the morning of the game.
He explained: “We’re trying like anything to get more goals, but the emphasis was on defending. We know that we’ve got goals in the team, but the manager has emphasised that we will attack and defend as an XI.
“It was set up tactically to get ready for the game but with a defensive set up in mind, but we’ll do a little bit of attacking play in the morning before we play Middlesbrough.”
The match will be a tough encounter, but Eyre revealed that Boro will not be taking the Spireites lightly.
“I know a little bit about them because I speak to my former player Adam Clayton regularly, he’s told me that their training has been quite tough and that they’ve been very complimentary about us,” he added.
“They know that we’ve been back early and people are starting to recognise what we’re trying to do at Chesterfield and what we’re trying to develop, it’s been mentioned in their team talk and they’ll know they’ll have to work very hard against us.
“We know that they’re a very talented team, so I’m looking forward to seeing them, but more importantly I’m looking forward to seeing our team.”