Town boss full of respect for all-conquering Wilder

Gary Caldwell knows just how Chris Wilder feels, having managed a side to the League One title.
The Star Football Awards 2017 Chris Wilder and Gary CaldwellThe Star Football Awards 2017 Chris Wilder and Gary Caldwell
The Star Football Awards 2017 Chris Wilder and Gary Caldwell

But it’s not just the Sheffield United gaffer’s 2016/17 success that has earned him Caldwell’s respect and admiration.

The Scot has long been a fan of the man who will stand in the opposite dugout on Sunday.

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“I think he’s done an incredible job at a big football club,” said the Spireites manager.

“Everyone says it’s easy to get out of League One and they have proved it’s not.

“They’ve been there for six years I think it is.

“He had to go into a club that had failed on five previous attempts. I think it being his club and his close connection has helped him but you can’t take away the job he’s done.

“Not just this year, he’s a fantastic manager and deserves all the accolades he’s getting at the moment.”

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Wilder has come in for praise from many quarters for rejuvenating Sheffield United.

He’s impressed in every job en route to Bramall Lane too – ever since he won everything going as Alfreton Town boss.

Caldwell said: “I have a lot of respect for him and the job he’s done, at Northampton, Oxford, Halifax.

“He’s definitely come up the hard way to get the success he has now, he’s earned his stripes and he deserves everything he’s getting at the minute because he’s done a fantastic job this year.”

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The Blades and another South Yorkshire club on the up are the perfect example for Caldwell and Chesterfield of what they hope is possible in the next calendar year.

“Last year Sheffield United in crisis, Doncaster Rovers in crisis and now you see them picking up trophies and getting all the accolades,” he said.

“A year is a long time in football and that has to be our target for the end of next season.”