Caldwell aiming to bring good times back to Wigan Athletic

  • Gary Caldwell appointed new Wigan Athletic manager on a rolling contract
  • The 32-year-old confirmed his retirement from playing
  • Chairman David Sharpe says it would be a “miracle” if Latics were to survive and Caldwell will not be judged this season
  • Caldwell will be assisted by former Latics manager and current coach Graham Barrow

NEW Wigan Athletic boss Gary Caldwell says he is determined to bring the good times back to the DW Stadium.

The Scot was formally presented to the media today (Wednesday) alongside his assistant Graham Barrow, chief executive Jonathan Jackson and chairman David Sharpe.

In becoming the new Latics manager, Caldwell also confirmed his retirement from playing.

The 32-year-old former club captain said: “I want to get the belief back into the players.

“I was a player that played with passion and desire and I want to bring this into management.

“I have a good feel for the football club. I know what it takes to be successful here.

Latics chairman David Sharpe with new manager Gary Caldwell

Latics chairman David Sharpe with new manager Gary Caldwell

“I’ve had a lot of high moments here. Hopefully the fans can recall them and I can use them to bring more back in the future.”

Caldwell will be assisted by Barrow who has been a coach at the club since Roberto Martinez’s rein.

And his experience is something which could be vital going into next season with Caldwell adding: “Graham Barrow is someone I trust with my life. He is an old head - he won’t like me saying that!”

Sharpe spoke of his delight at the appointment, revealing that it didn’t take him long to make his mind up once he dismissed Malky Mackay on Monday night.

I was a player that played with passion and desire and I want to bring this into management

New Latics manager Gary Caldwell

The Latics chairman was almost resigned to the fact that the club would be relegated this season though, adding “it would be a miracle” for them to survive.

“It’ll be a miracle if we stay up. I won’t be judging Gary on the next five weeks,” he said.

“Gary has a free hit. It gives us chance to plan ahead.

“We went away from what we were good at this season and a little bit last season under Owen. We want to get back to that.

Assistant manager Graham Barrow, new manager Gary Caldwell, chairman David Sharpe and chief executive Jonathan Jackson

Assistant manager Graham Barrow, new manager Gary Caldwell, chairman David Sharpe and chief executive Jonathan Jackson

“We thought we had turned the corner when we beat Blackpool and Norwich but we dipped again.”

Sharpe also revealed that he didn’t take his grandfather Dave Whelan’s advice on the decision to sack Mackay.

The former chairman and current owner is over in Barbados and was told afterwards what was happening.

Sharpe added: “I spoke to him afterwards and he was fully behind me.”

Caldwell will now concentrate on preparing his players for the game at relegation rivals Fulham on Friday.

If Latics are to pull off the greatest of escapes, it’s a match they must win.

Gary Caldwell and David Sharpe

Gary Caldwell and David Sharpe

“We will go down to Fulham and try to win a football game,” concluded the new Latics boss. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Gary Caldwell and David Sharpe face the media

Gary Caldwell and David Sharpe face the media