Saunders’ tinkering back fires big time
DEAN Saunders admitted his bold approach misfired as Chesterfield slumped to a fourth successive defeat and the Welshman paid with his job.
The manager’s five changes included a threestrong front line, but his experimental line up were ripped apart by a free flowing Swindon and Saunders was sacked hours after the full-time whistle.
Saunders said: “I picked a side with a lot of sprinters and attack minded players and we created numerous chances – but defensively we were shocking.
“It was a really bad day for us. I know we can’t afford to lose 4-0 at home.
“We got a grip on the game at 2-0 and took the game to them only to be caught cold again at the start of the second half.
“I put the team out to attack and it’s backfired on us. I understand the fans’ frustration and that their comments aren’t personal. But I’m as frustrated as them.”
The hosts barely had a kick before the slick visitors took a third-minute lead. Classy Ben Gladwin’s sweeping ball exposed a gap on the left side of Chesterfield’s defence and Bradley Barry’s low cross was tapped into an empty net by leading scorer Nicky Ajose.
Chesterfield also contributed to their downfall after 14 minutes. Louis Thompson found the same unguarded space as Barry and goalkeeper Tommy Lee fumbled his shot into the net at his near post.
Full-back Dan Jones tried to make amends but volleyed Liam O’Neill’s cross over from close range, and a 25-yard blast by Jay O’Shea rattled the bar as Chesterfield threatened close to the interval.
That fire was doused less than three minutes after the break when another good Gladwin pass released Jon Obika who showed composure to find space for a low leftfooted shot.
Jones’ difficult afternoon ended on a stretcher with an ankle injury that will add to Chesterfield’s problems before Ajose added a fourth ten minutes from time.
Celebrating his third win in four games in charge, Swindon boss Martin Ling highlighted his strikers’ form.
“It was a complete performance,” said Ling. “We defended well, we kept possession and the two up front were tireless.
“Playing two up there allows the ball to stick and the others to pick their passes. Jon Obika was our best player in my view.
“We wanted to make a fast start as they’d lost three in a row and we managed that and they never escaped from our stranglehold all game.
“It’s not often you can sit on the bench relaxed – but that’s how it was towards the end.”
STAR MAN NICKY AJOSE Swindon