Gary Caldwell dedicated his first Proact victory as Chesterfield manager to the club’s fans, who he admits have suffered a frustrating season.
Town were 1-0 winners over Port Vale thanks to a goal from 17-year-old Joe Rowley, who yesterday signed his first professional contract with the club.
Caldwell was pleased with his side’s performance, not just the three points that staved off relegation for at least another week.
“I’m delighted for the fans first and foremost, they’re the ones that pay their money to come,” he said.
“I said yesterday it’s been a frustrating season for them and we owe them something. I thought they got it today with the performance.
“It was a performance full of character, playing for the club, showing real desire for the club and they got their reward and the fans go home happy for the first time in a long time.”
Rowley stole the headlines with his first ever professional goal, firing home a second half rebound from Kristian Dennis’ initial effort.
Caldwell points out that things might not always be as rosy for the teenager, but he was still glowing in praise of the match winner.
“He keeps getting better,” he said.
“I did say when he signed that he will have a dip in form at some point and that’s when as a club and a staff and the players around them will help him develop.
“Right now he’s riding on the wave that sometimes you get with young players. He’s a fantastic talent, I love watching him play the game, the skill he has, the quick feet, the energy he shows for the team and the game knowledge he has.
“At the end when I put him in a defensive position to help the team he understands.
“I’m just delighted we’ve got such a talent here and I get to work with him.”
Chesterfield are now nine points from safety with 12 to play for going into the Easter period.
He’s asking his players to keep their heads down and put in the same amount of effort this week in training to prepare for Good Friday’s home game against Southend United.
And he revealed that one of his players took to the pitch with a niggle today, epitomising the attitude that is required.
“We’re going to need everyone again next week with the two games we’ve got in quick succession,” he said.
“We all have to work hard in training and be ready when called upon.
“Dion was actually carrying an injury as well and he did well to play as long as he did, you could see he wasn’t his usual free flowing self.
“It’s all hands to the pump and that’s what you need to win football games.
“It’s not always pretty but you have to work hard as a group to get results.”