Ian feels ton-der­ful but Gary’s boys flop

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Steven Chicken

CH­ESTER­FIELD boss Gary Cald­well re­fused to go down with­out a fight de­spite time run­ning out on the Spire­ites.

Cald­well’s men are ten points adrift with just six games to play, but when asked if he still has hope, the man­ager said: “There has to be.

“I won’t give up hope and the play­ers won’t give up hope. We’ll keep work­ing.

“But like I’ve said, this is a long process we’re go­ing through and if there is a bit of pain, it’ll only help us in the fu­ture.

“We all have to get it in our game that we play on the edge. That’s how you have to play.

“We have to be­come a more ag­gres­sive team. We have nice lads, good lads who come in and work, but when you cross that line you have to be­come a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal and play to win.”

Dale skip­per Ian Hen­der­son scored his 100th ca­reer goal with a lovely chip over Thorsten Stuck­mann to put his side ahead.

Cal­lum Camps’ 40th-minute goal matched that for qual­ity, bury­ing a clear­ance from 25 yards on the half-vol­ley.

Mid­field col­league Jamie Allen hit a third just two min­utes later, scor­ing from the cor­ner of the Ch­ester­field box off the ex­cel­lent Nathaniel Men­dezLaing’s pass.

Ch­ester­field were much im­proved af­ter be­ing booed off at half-time and quickly pulled it back to 3-1, with Kris­tian Den­nis scor­ing from 25 yards.

But there was to be no heroic come­back, with Tom An­der­son’s header against the bar as close as they came again.

Sub­sti­tute David Fau­pala was then sent off in in­jury time for kick­ing out at Joseph Raf­ferty.

The re­sult means Rochdale main­tain faint play-off hopes. They are now six points off with a game in hand over the top six af­ter only their third league win of 2017.

Rochdale man­ager Keith Hill said: “We’ve got seven points from the last three games, that’s the way we’ll look at it. “We are play­ing out the sea­son, we’re not on the beach, but we’re play­ing prob­a­bly free of any pres­sure.

“There’s no pres­sure on us be­cause we’re not in a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle. We’re al­ways in a rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle, Rochdale Foot­ball Club, up to a cer­tain num­ber of points.

“Once we get those points we’re not and we’re not now. We’re play­ing quite freely with great at­tack­ing in­tent and I’m happy go­ing into the fi­nal eight games with the squad of play­ers we’ve got.”

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