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Caldwell: "I still think it’s possible."

24 March 2017

Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell, says that both he and his squad believe they can get out of the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

Defeat at Bristol Rovers last weekend, coupled with results elsewhere not going in the Spireites favour, means that Chesterfield find themselves 10 points from safety, with just seven games left.

But while there are still 21 points to play for, Caldwell is not throwing in the towel.

He said: “I still think it’s possible, the players think it’s possible and we are working and preparing to win games, but we know it’s getting to the point where it’s crucial that we win every game.

“I can see the fans’ frustration in results and certain areas of the game, but overall I think that performances have been pretty good.  But I understand that we need to win games, and their frustration comes from us not winning games.”

Chesterfield take on Rochdale at the Proact tomorrow, with the Spireites having not won at home since beating Coventry City 1-0 on January 14. Something that the manager wants to rectify quickly.

“I think it’s important for everyone, we want to win every game,” said Caldwell. 

“I’ve said that since day one and that’s a mentality I have to change, and it has to go right through the club, not just home games, but the away games as well. 

“Wherever we play and whoever we play against we have to go into it believing we can win, and we’re still working to try and get that.”        

Tomorrow’s meeting with Keith Hill’s side will be the fourth between the two clubs this campaign, with the Spireites 2-0 win in the Checkatrade Trophy being cancelled out by the Dale’s wins in the EFL Cup and the league.

Hill’s men have endured a rough 2017 to date, winning just once in the league, however, they head into the fixture showing signs of a revival, having won and drawn the other of their last two games.

On tomorrow’s opponents Caldwell said: “They’re a very organised team, a dangerous team and they had a good run after the start of the season, but since that they’ve hit a sticky patch. 

“But they’ve had consistency within the club, the owners and the players back the manager and they get consistent results and performances because of that.”

Connor Dimaio will miss the game due to being away with the Republic of Ireland’s U21s, while Ched Evans is likely to miss out as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Caldwell has hinted that some of the club’s younger players could follow the path of midfielder Joe Rowley into the first team squad.

Rowley featured on the substitutes bench in the Spireites last two home games, and Caldwell will not be afraid to blood younger players should the opportunity present itself.

He added: “We have great quality among the younger players at the club, but we have to make sure that they’re ready for that challenge. 

“It is a challenge coming in, but I’m seeing every day the quality that the younger players have, and when the time is right I’ll bring them to the first team and see if they can produce it on a match day.”