Anxious wait for Caldwell after triple whammy

Jussi Jaaskelainen

Jussi Jaaskelainen

Gary Caldwell faces an anxious wait before discovering whether THREE of his key players will miss part of Wigan Athletic’s promotion run-in.

Latics were held to a 1-1 draw by Peterborough on Saturday - a result that saw them extend the gap to third place to five points with results elsewhere going their way.

Their cause wasn’t helped by losing goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and forward Conor McAleny in the opening 45, while centre-back Jason Pearce failed to re-emerge for the second period.

Jaaskelainen was the first to depart midway through the first half, having to be helped from the field after colliding with Posh midfielder Jon Taylor while keeping out a Michael Smith effort.

“Jussi got a bang to the head and he was quite groggy,” revealed the Latics boss.

“The medical team decided to take him off, and even at half-time he still didn’t know what day it was or whether he’d been knocked out.”

Caldwell would not speculate as to the severity of the problem, adding: “I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. I’ll have to ask the doctor.”

McAleny was next to exit in first-half stoppage-time, having signalled to the bench he was unable to continue.

“Conor felt his hamstring tighten up just before half-time,” reported Caldwell.

“Hopefully we got him off in time.”

And the Scot was forced to play his final card during the half-time break with Pearce the third man to flag up a problem.

“Pearcey felt a reaction to the tackle he made just before half-time and he was struggling,” added Caldwell.

“It’s not often you have to change three players in the first half, and I thought it affected us in the second half, when we’d maybe have liked to have freshened things up in an attacking sense.

“We didn’t have that luxury, even though the guys gave everything.

“But the way Yanic (Wildschut) and Ryan (Colclough) kept running at the full-backs, it’s not easy for 90 minutes.

“All credit to them, they kept going, they kept trying to make opportunities.

“It just wouldn’t fall for us.”

To rub salt into the wounds, Chris McCann’s booking in the closing stages was his 10th of the campaign, which triggers an automatic two-match suspension.

“Yes that is the case, but it gives another player the opportunity to come in and do his bit for the team,” said Caldwell.