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A learning curve

4 August 2013

Kevin Blackwell on the Chesterfield defeat and moving forward

Shakers manager Kevin Blackwell declared himself pleased with the efforts of his new look side, but obviously felt that inability to put chances away ultimately cost the club their first three points of the season, however he is only to aware of what is needed to bring a new group of players and to turn them into a successful side.


‘The final score is scant rewards for our efforts.  I’ve had a chat with Paul Cook (Chesterfield manager), and he knows that at half time the game should have been dead and buried.  We had four great chances and I don’t want to go on about it because to me that was exactly like last season.  It wasn’t the fact that we couldn’t play, it was the fact that we couldn’t finish.  The lads that did miss the chances are proven goal scorers but it will come.

I’m disappointed because the players gave me everything. If we had taken our chances in that first half, the dynamics of the game could have been totally different if we had taken those chances. 

We are learning so much about this team, that’s the first time this eleven has played together.  We know that we are on a learning curve and we know that week in week out we will get better, but we also have to remember that according to the bookies, Chesterfield are the best team in this division and at times, I think they showed why they are saying that, but having said that, we were more than a match for them for long spells of the game.

I am not going to know about the shape and the dynamics of the team until these things happen, because I don’t know enough about the players.  How are they going to handle it when they go behind?  How are they going to handle it when they miss an open goal? These are the learning curves that I keep talking about, but I learnt a lot about my team when Chesterfield scored.  We lost our shape slightly.

We knew they would come with the diamond in the middle and we handled it brilliantly, then after they scored, we chased the game and it left us exposed – that allowed them to pass the ball and find the second pass.  We have to learn that if you go one down, you keep the shape.  The honesty from the lads was that they wanted to go and win the game; they can’t be naïve like that.  We showed too much naivety.

There are positives; the fitness was there because they were still going at the end.  They looked fit and sharp.  I feel for them because at half time, we should be talking about our first three points.  These are the lessons that we are going to learn; now it’s about how we handle it.  They have to know what happens in the second half when you miss three or four chances in the first half.  They have learned plenty on Saturday.

For the next six to eight weeks, every week and every game is going to be a big learning curve for us.  If we can get that right, then I think we will have a very good season.  We are two or three players short, and I said that last week.  What we have to do is to try and get the right players.  It’s going to be a long hard season, I understand that, but even without those two or three players, we have shown ourselves to be more than a formidable out fit in this division.  If we had scored in that first half, we would have won the game comfortably.

I think everyone is pleased with the day, I haven’t heard anyone moaning about it.  Though as a manager I want to win every game.  A defeat always hurts and it’s should hurt, but this club is being rebuilt from top to bottom.

We have to look at everything on Saturday – the atmosphere around the stadium, the dynamics of the club has changed so much and in the last six weeks.  I can go home tonight knowing that we have performed well, but the fact is that I can go home tonight knowing that we still have a football club.  Six weeks ago we would have had nothing.  The game had kicked off and the PA announcer was still announcing the new players, it took him that long to do it. It’s very rare that out of all the players involved, only three of them were involved last season.

We all saw the ovation that the chairman got before the game, and quite rightly so.  You just half to walk around the place and look where we were this time last year.  It’s just fantastic.  Everything is still positive and as long as that graph continues to go up then we will be fine.  The dip on Saturday was that we haven’t won the game, but the positive is that we have seen now that we have some decent players here.  If I can build on that, then I will be very happy.

The gate was a thousand up on last season, the club and the chairman deserves that.  I was praying that we get a great turnout and to be fair to Chesterfield they brought plenty with them.  Overall I am really pleased with what they have done, but it’s just the start of the foundations of rebuilding of this football club.’

Watch the full video interview with the gaffer on Shakers Player





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