Chesterfield caretaker manager Ian Evatt hailed the impact made by substitutes Robbie Weir and Jacob Brown, in last night’s 1-0 victory over Newport County at the Proact.
The duo came on for George Smith and Andy Kellett after a goal-less first half, and along with Kristian Dennis’ 21st goal of the campaign helped to turn one point into three for the Spireites, in their final home fixture of the season.
Speaking exclusively to iFollow, Evatt said: “It’s not down to me, it’s down to the players. They showed a real effort and desire to win the football match.
“Things didn’t work out in the first half and we made some changes. The lads who came on Browny [Brown] and Robbie [Weir], quickened the game up and the tempo was a lot faster.
“In the first half we were a yard or two of the pace, and we weren’t getting the pressure on the ball that I wanted.
“In the second half we gave them a bit of direction and clarity as to who to press and when, and they took it on board and went out there second half and were fantastic, I’m so proud of them for what they’ve achieved as it wasn’t easy in the first half, in the second we dominated the game and should’ve won by two or three.”
Dennis’ match winner came in the 71st minute, when he nodded home after good work and a fine cross by Louis Dodds on the right flank.
And much like Brown and Weir, the caretaker manager was full of praise for the goal scorer and the provider.
He said: “I can’t speak highly enough of him [Dennis], we’ve let him down really, because when a striker gets 21 goals we shouldn’t be where we are in the league, we’ve not backed him up, it’s as simple as that.
“So well done to Denno, he got a good award last night (Sheffield Star Golden Boot), and that’s fantastic recognition, he deserves it because 21 goals in a struggling team’s a fantastic effort.
“Doddsy [Dodds] was unlucky not to score, because the ‘keeper’s made a couple of good saves, he’s took on board what I’ve asked of him, and he’s lead by example as a senior player, I’m delighted for him.”
Evatt has now been in charge for a week, overseeing two matches, Saturday’s loss to Wycombe and the victory over Michael Flynn’s Exiles.
The former Blackpool man has already experienced a lot during his tenure’s infancy, but it’s an experience that he’s loving, as well as being grateful for a little help from his friends.
“I’m learning on the job but I’m really enjoying it,” he asserted.
“It’s a massive thank you to the lads who are digging in and helping me out Miguel [Llera], Hirdy [Sam Hird] and Tommy [Lee], they’ve been fantastic for me and I’m really enjoying it, it’s good fun.”
Last night’s win was watched by a crowd of 4,608 at the Proact, and Evatt was grateful for the efforts of the Town faithful, who’ve had to endure a lot this season, most notably the club’s relegation to the National League.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the fans, they know how I feel about them,” he said. “We haven’t deserved their support this season, they’ve backed us through thick and thin, and again today to have 4,500 fans on a Tuesday night for an already relegated team is a tremendous effort.
“So, I’d like to say thank you, and hopefully we’ll turn this around and there’ll be good times ahead.”
The Spireites have just one game left of the 2017/18 campaign, an away trip to Barnet on Saturday, 3pm. The Bees know that victory over Town, along with defeat for Morecambe at Coventry City would see them preserve their Sky Bet League Two status.
However, Evatt and his men will be making the trip to the Hive, with one thing on their mind, victory.
He added: “We’ve got to try and win, we’ll be playing as strong a team as possible to win. It’s only fair that we do right by Morecambe who are still in it.
“To be honest, I’m a bit fed up of seeing people celebrate in front of us, we had that with Wycombe on Saturday and Forest Green the week before, so after 90 minutes on Saturday, I don’t want to see Barnet celebrating, hopefully we can do a job and get three points.”