Sheridan remains positive despite first league defeat as Chesterfield boss

Lee Shaw on the move for Chesterfield.
Lee Shaw on the move for Chesterfield.

John Sheridan elected not to be too hard on his players after they fell to their first league defeat since his arrival.

The Chesterfield boss admitted the performance needed to be better in the 1-0 defeat by Harrogate, but said he's keen to keep the mood positive ahead of Tuesday's game at Barnet.

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"It's always disappointing to lose a game," he said.

"I didn't feel we got going, we played better second half than first.

"Too many people not on their game possibly.

"I don't want to be too hard on them. I'm not happy with the way they played and the result but I'm in a position where I have to stay as positive as I can.

"They've done well since I came in, 10 from 12 before today is a very good comeback from them."

Sheridan felt the Spireites were worth a point, despite not having been at their best.

They did start to create chances in the second half and Tom Denton headed against the post in stoppage time.

But he said his side weren't anywhere near as 'fluid' with their passing as they could have been.

And there were other aspects of the performance that displeased the boss.

"I think we deserved something without playing well," he said.

"We need to play better if we're going to win games.

"I want us to be miles more fluid. I could be in there talking for an hour on things I want us to do better.

"I'm going to get frustrated at this level. The lads have done well for me. I didn't go on too much. I said get your heads up, you've done well since I came in.

"At this moment in time, I've got a lot of effort from them.

"We haven't scored. We're at home. I think we should be better all over the pitch, first half.

"We were too sloppy. Throw ins, how we should pass the ball, when we should take a touch the ball bounces off us.

"I do know what I'm looking at. We've got some good players, I don't care what league we're in, we should be doing things better than we did today.

"We've got to bounce back quickly."

The winner came just six minutes in, Scott Boden putting through his own net after a pair of corners and a second phase delivery caused havoc in the Town box.

"We're too deep for the goal, it's a poor, poor goal," said Sheridan.

"We should react better.

"We should do better.

"We've kept clean sheets since I've been here so I'm probably being a bit harsh on them.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get a goal to get back in the game."

There was one change to the starting line-up before the game, Will Evans dropping out of the squad through injury, Laurence Maguire coming in after two and a half months out following surgery.

"Just his (Evans') ankle, he turned it in training yesterday, he's a bit sore. Hopefully he'll be okay for Tuesday.

"Instead of risking it, we decided to leave him out.

"I thought Laurence got better second half, took a bit of time to get into the game."

In the first half particularly, Harrogate's front three made it difficult for Chesterfield to play out from the back.

But Sheridan believes his team didn't help themselves with their quality on the ball when they had to go long.

"We're playing a 3-5-2 but we've got to be a bit braver, do things quicker.

"I thought we were very slow in the way we played.

"When teams pressurise you, that quality of ball into Boden and Marco has got to be a better delivery, give them the advantage not the centre half.

"When we got the ball wide and did things quicker I thought we were a threat."