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Caldwell: "We showed great character."

3 September 2017

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Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell hailed his team’s resolve after gaining a 0-0 draw with Coventry City at the Proact, despite going down to ten men in the second half.

Northern Irish midfielder Robbie Weir was shown a second yellow card after a foul on Sky Blues winger Jodi Jones, a decision that Caldwell felt was unfair.

Speaking exclusively to iFollow, he said: “I was delighted. We showed a lot of character throughout the team and we really stood up to the challenge of another crazy decision.

“Every week we have to deal with crazy decisions and we’re probably getting good at it, we’ve done it that much.

“I didn’t think it was a foul, but if he gives it then we can accept it but to send him off for it is ridiculous.

“They don’t want to talk to you or give you an explanation and the fourth official says nothing. And then they add six minutes because their bench is on at them. It’s ridiculous, but over the course of a season I’m pretty certain it’ll even itself out.”

As well as picking up a point against the Sky Blues, the result meant that the Spireites have now kept clean sheets in their last two Sky Bet League Two home fixtures.

It was a welcome bonus and was the result of hard work on the training pitch, following the goals conceded against Newport County and Bradford City.

So what changed?

“You saw that when we went down to ten men and went to 4-4-1, the midfield four got across the pitch, were compact and did not allow passes through,” Caldwell explained. “Gozie [Ugwu] coming on helped with that after Chris [O’Grady] had put a shift in up front.

“There was that dogged determination from everyone, from the back to the front players, not allowing the ball to come forward easy and when it does defending the box and Tommy [Lee] pulling off two fantastic saves.

“So there was a real desire not to be beaten and that was evident for the whole 90 minutes.”

Caldwell gave new signings Zak Jules and Matt Briggs their debuts in the encounter and he was impressed with their performances.

He said: “They gave us real physicality, height, power and pace, they haven’t played a lot of football so they will only improve from that and in training next week.

“Both of them can be really happy with their debuts.”

Meanwhile, Caldwell also praised the Spireites supporters for providing the team with great backing throughout the game, particularly after Weir’s dismissal.

“The support was invaluable,” he added. “We understand that we haven’t hit the heights that they expect, but they’ve seen a team today that gave everything for the football club and they’ll continue to see that.

“We’ll add to that performance and start winning games to climb up the league and give them something to be proud about.”

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