Gary Caldwell passed all the credit for today's win over Port Vale to his players, despite a formation change that appeared to turn the game completely in the Spireites' favour.

Saturday, 19th August 2017, 7:03 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:24 pm
Picture Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD, Football, EFL Sky Bet League Two,v Chesterfield Town v Port Vale, Proact Stadium, 19/08/17, K.O 3pm Chesterfield's manager Gary Caldwell Andrew Roe>>>>>>>07826527594

In a 3-5-2 formation Town were being overwhelmed and looked in serious danger of conceding.

But when the Scot switched to a 4-4-2, Chesterfield took over the game, went 2-0 up and never really looked back.

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It brought about their first win of the season and Caldwell was understandably a happy man at full-time.

“I’m delighted, it’s always important when you’ve lost three games and that question keeps coming, when are we going to win that first game?

“It’s important we stayed calm and focused and believed in what we’re doing.

“I thought the players were excellent and we had a 20 minute spell where we were sensational.

“That’s what we have to take and build on going into next week.”

He admitted the way the game was going forced his hand tactically in the first half.

But his change wasn’t the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes, in his opinion.

“Nine corners triggered it,” he said.

“I don’t think I can take any credit for the change in the game, the players’ mentality changed.

“Sometimes a formation change affects players, but the formation didn’t change the game - the players did, the way they passed the ball, the way they started cutting threw them and showing more bravery and composure in possession changed the game.

“I keep saying we need to take the handbrake off and play with real freedom and belief in our individual abilities and I think we showed how good a team we can be.”

Caldwell was particularly enamoured with the way the midfield, with newboy Jordan Flores dropping in from his initial left wing-back role, controlled things.

“I thought the midfield four were untouchable, no one could get near them on the pitch,” he purred.

“The movement and rotation from the two Jordans and Louis, Robbie backing it up and keeping things ticking over.

“I see it every day, I believe in the players and I see them do it.

“The hardest thing in football is coming out at 3pm and having the bravery to do it on the pitch in front of a crowd, it’s difficult, but we have to keep working and the players have to keep believing.

“This will be a good confidence booster for them.”

The second half was a strange affair, Vale showing little appetite to get forward and change the momentum, Chesterfield comfortable with their lead for the most part without busting a gut to add a third.

“We have to recognise we haven’t won for the first three games and getting over the line is always difficult.

“We have to know that possession in the attacking half when 2-0 up is a good situation, we kept getting down the line and crossed to no one or tried a killer pass when there were options to keep the ball higher up the pitch - its part of the learning curve we’re on at the moment.”

A big surprise before kick-off was the return of goalkeeper Tommy Lee after 15 months out.

Caldwell said the decision to bring him in for Joe Anyon was a tough one.

“It’s something I had to think long and hard about, a difficult decision. But he has that strength of character.

“I’ve seen him in training and knew he was ready for this return.

“As a manager it’s the hardest thing to leave a good goalkeeper and a good person and someone who trains extremely hard like Joe Anyon out of the team.

“But I have to make those decisions, sometimes they come off, sometimes they don’t.”

And Flores, brought in on loan from Wigan at the end of the week, delighted the boss with his performance.

“I thought he was brilliant, he’s only been here 48 hours. He’s someone the players feel they can trust, particularly when you give him the ball. More often than not he passes to a Chesterfield player or carries it up the pitch.

“When he went inside he started pulling the strings and that was our most dominant spell.”

There was no Steve Eyre on the bench for the Spireites, Caldwell said after the game the assistant manager has been suffering with flu and stayed away as a precaution.