Column: The sun still rose over Chesterfield today but a cloud casts shade over the Proact
Contrary to some reports, a defeat by Sheffield Wednesday did not signal the end of the world and the sun still rose over Chesterfield on Wednesday.
But a cloud is casting shade over the Proact, and one man in particular.
Gary Caldwell’s record as Spireites manager is awful.
He revealed this week he hates statistics, so you can imagine his loathing for the one that reads two wins in 21 matches.
Putting a little context on it, 19 matches were played by a squad he could rightly say was someone else’s.
‘His’ team, prepared by ‘his’ staff have only played twice.
The’ve also lost twice and shipped seven goals, but one of those defeats and four of those goals came against not only a Championship side, but one of the very best sides outside the Premier League.
The Owls’ quality was simply too much in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and no one could have expected any different.
But allowing a player to run right down the middle before conceding, for the third time in three weeks, is unforgivable.
If you give up soft goals and fail to take your chances, you will lose football matches.
And that’s been the story of the short season so far.
It’s ridiculous to hear calls for a manager’s head after two games, very little can be fairly judged in that time but the hangover of last season lingers and football is fickle.
That’s why Caldwell needs a win, and quick.
Chris O’Grady and Gozie Ugwu need a goal – the number of chances created are a tick in the positives column but nothing more.
Kristian Dennis cannot do it alone.
The midfield, for want of a better phrase, need to man up and the whole team need a clean sheet.
Tuesday’s fragility in the middle of the park, particularly with Robbie Weir missing, was alarming.
Do they have the right midfielders to justify three at the back with wing-backs?
Was it a bit gung-ho to start three strikers against such a superior outfit?
Two defeats haven’t changed the fact that this is a talented and exciting group.
But they must start proving it to repay the faith of the man that assembled them.
And Caldwell must prove he has what it takes to find the right combinations, the right formation and the right identity that will bring the wins he craves and needs.
His job is undoubtedly safe as houses right now, but only victories will see the sun emerge from behind that cloud.