James Rowe on shaking up Chesterfield's squad, next steps and 'promotion, not play-offs'

James Rowe says he knew he had to shake-up the Spireites squad before he was even appointed.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:27 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:30 pm

The 37-year-old, who took over in November, has signed 14 new players, transforming the Blues from relegation strugglers to play-off contenders.

When asked by the DT how soon he realised that he would have to overhaul the squad, he explained: “It hadn’t worked so I am here for a reason. But it was not just one manager it had not worked with, it had not worked with two or three with the players that were in the group so I was probably the fourth in.

“I think I knew from analysing the team before I came for the interview what we needed. We needed more athleticism, more youth, more pressure on the ball. They were the minimum requirements and we have built from there.”

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Town boss James Rowe.

Rowe has got Chesterfield playing an attack-minded and entertaining style of play, but now it is all about taking it to the next level.

He said: “Now we are trying to work a little bit more on our possession structure, short and long, open the pitch up ourselves, how can we play through, round or over better, and I think that is the next stage of what we are trying to do but pedagogy is not easy. You have to take individuality into account. Jack Clarke needs teaching different from a Haydn Hollis. And that is the trap because you can only drip feed that information in but you don’t want to affect the short-term, you don’t want to teach too much, you don’t want to change too much now because we are in a good place, so the next learnings might take place in pre-season.”

All the talk at the moment is whether the Spireites can claim a play-off spot, but it is about much more than that for Rowe.

He added: “All that is on our mind now is 15 cup finals to get to where we want to get to, but what’s the point of getting in the top seven if you don’t get promoted? There is no point. It is always about promotion, not play-offs. If you go out of the quarter-final of the play-offs you have not achieved anything.”