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Caldwell: "We have to take care of the here and now.”

10 March 2017

Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell, has urged his team to be better on the ball, as they head into another must win fixture against Shrewsbury Town tomorrow (3pm).

Scott Laird scored from a set-piece in the 54th minute to earn Walsall a win against the Spireites last Tuesday and while it was another set-back, the Scot insisted that his side are making progress. 

“It does feel a bit like one step forward, two steps back but we are making progress,” the gaffer insisted. “Unfortunately we can’t put that consecutive run of results together at the moment but we will keep working hard to do that. I do feel like we are making progress. 

“I felt that our play in general on the ball against Walsall wasn’t great. The game was there for the taking in terms of controlling the ball and controlling possession but we didn't really grasp that. 

“Defensively I thought we looked solid again, it was disappointing of course to lose, but overall I think we can be better on the ball than we were against Walsall.”

The manager spoke about the frustration of conceding from a corner, but dismissed the suggestion that his players were struggling from fixture congestion and insisted that they will be raring to go come both Saturday and Tuesday against Peterborough United. 

“I think that we have been pretty strong from set-pieces defensively, but whenever you lose one it is a disappointment. You set everyone up and everyone knows their jobs, but it is just a lapse in concentration that costs you,” Caldwell continued.  

“At this stage of the season, players should be as fit as they will ever be, they should be able to play three games in a week, so we can’t use that as an excuse. 

“Saturday and Tuesday we have to pick up consecutive results that will help us in our survival bid.”

The 34-year-old spoke about his long-term aims for the club, but asserted that his side are currently focused on Saturday and the remainder of the season.  

He said: “It is frustrating because you are judged on a match day, the fans and everyone sees the performance and the result on a match-day, but I get to work with the players day-in day-out and I see a lot of quality. 

“It is up to me to keep encouraging them and keep believing in them so that they show it on a match-day. 

“Your ambition is always to win, to win football games and to develop a culture within the club where everyone works hard. A culture where everyone is buying into the way that we work in terms of training and in terms of the way that we play. 

“We have to take care of the here and now, but long-term it is about building a football club that we can all be proud of.”

The Spireites manager is yet to taste victory at the Proact and spoke of his desire to make the Proact a fortress during his time at the club, starting with Shrewsbury on Saturday. 

“Shrewsbury are a hard working team and it will be a difficult test again,” Caldwell continued “A win is always important, but it is nice to win at home, I think every successful team has to have good home form and from now up until the end of the season, we want to get that.” 

Caldwell also confirmed the news that Paul McGinn took another step in his rehabilitation, coming away unscathed following a 45 minute cameo in the reserve match against Grimsby Town.

The boss also added that Jon Nolan has trained this week and could come back into contention on Saturday, while Ched Evans remains sidelined for the next two weeks. 

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