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Caldwell: "It has to be a turning point."

5 March 2017

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Gary Caldwell saluted a real team effort as the Spireites struck late on to beat Swindon Town 1-0 at the County Ground.

Substitute Reece Mitchell, secured the victory - and the first win of Caldwell’s tenure - with a well taken goal in the 93rd minute. One the manager hopes can act as a springboard to survival.

Speaking exclusively to Player HD, Caldwell said: “It’s long overdue, but I’m absolutely thrilled for everybody at the club, and the players in particular, because the efforts that they’ve put in not only today, but over this week in preparation for the game for this have been fantastic. 

“And it has to be a turning point because we’ve got too much to offer in this league to give it up easily, and I said to the players that we’ve got 11 massive games coming up after this and we’ve got to carry this on into that.

“I’ve been very frustrated, I came to this club to win football matches and change things and it’s not quite happened for different reasons, but today even if we hadn’t have won the game I’d have been ecstatic with the players’ performance and what they’ve put in.” 

After seeing the midweek game with Walsall postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, it provided Caldwell and his staff an extra day to work with the players on the training ground ahead of the Swindon fixture.

And as well as having an extra training session, the Spireites were also aided by the return of Dion Donohue in defence after injury.

“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes mentally and on the training pitch. But it wasn’t just the defenders, I thought the front players were outstanding,” said Caldwell.

“We had a clear plan to leave one of their defenders on the ball, mark everyone else and press passes from there, and they did it so well and they got their rewards.

“I thought as the game went on we became more and more of a threat, and I said to the subs ‘you’re going to come on and you’ll have to win this game for us’. Ched [Evans], Dan [Gardner] and Reece all played a big part.

“I thought everyone was outstanding, but Dion is a big player for us. He gives us great composure when bringing the ball out from the back. But today is all about the team and the efforts that they put in.”

The victory leaves the Spireites in 23rd position in Sky Bet League One, eight points from safety, along with it being three games unbeaten away from the Proact. 

And Caldwell wants the win to provide the players with a huge boost of confidence over the remaining 11 matches.

He added: “It has to, I keep saying to the players that this isn’t over, and if we have that application, desire and togetherness to go and win late on when you’re tired and everyone’s hurting, then I’m sure we’ll stay in this division come April 30.”

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