Ambition is the watchword for Spireites as new manager talks boldly of promotion hopes

Ambition was the watchword at Gary Caldwell's unveiling as the new Chesterfield manager at the Proact stadium.

Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 3:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 4:16 pm
Gary Caldwell new Chesterfield FC manager
Gary Caldwell new Chesterfield FC manager

The 34-year-old talked boldly of building a side capable of challenging for promotion to the Championship, after first addressing the side’s current relegation battle.

It was his ambition that impressed the club’s decision makers, Chris Turner calling the man who led Wigan to last season’s League One title a ‘winner.’

Caldwell’s lofty goals might be met with a few raised eyebrows among the club’s fanbase, given recent history, but he was realistic about their current woes.

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Gary Caldwell new Chesterfield FC manager

“Their ambition appealed to me. I’m coming here, long term, to try and get to the Championship,” he said.

“Their ambition was that as well.

“It’s going to be really difficult, it’s going to take hard work and the position we’re in now is the priority, that we win enough games to make sure we’re safe in this league next year and then we can start to build on that.

“Long term I want to build a football club for the future that can fight at the top end of the league and get promotion. I firmly believe we can do that.”

Gary Caldwell new Chesterfield FC manager

According to Caldwell, this season is all about survival and next season is about progression.

And players have got to prove they can play a part in the manager’s aims, particularly you would assume, those coming to the end of their contracts.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe that this club could get out of the position we’re in now and look to achieve more success next season,” he said.

“I’ll have to work with the players, speak to Ritchie and Matt and get a feel for the players.

“They’re playing for their futures, every week you have to go out and perform.

“In the summer we’ll look at it and see what we need to do to take the club forward.”

All the talk of success and ambition doesn’t mean the purse strings have suddenly loosened at the Proact.

Caldwell, who admits both he and the club took their time over the decision to work together, appears to have his eyes wide open as he arrives at a club where a one-in, one-out transfer policy has prevailed of late.

The difference in the relative wealth of his former employers Wigan and his new club isn’t an area of concern for him.

“We’ve spoken at great length about the finances and I understand that,” he said.

“Everyone thinks I had this open chequebook in Wigan which is far from the truth.

“We had a lot of resources compared with a lot of League One clubs but I had to work with a budget so I know how to do that.

“This one is less than I had at Wigan but I’ve no problems working with that, working with the club and more importantly working on the training pitch with the players we’ve got and making them better.

“Every job is difficult in football. I don’t think there’s any one job easier than another, they all come with different pressures and I’m just eager to work and put my stamp on this team and this club and try and bring them success.”