Caldwell aiming to clip wings of Seagulls again

Gaetan Bong

Gaetan Bong

Gary Caldwell is hoping Wigan Athletic can take heart from a famous previous success over Brighton when the Seagulls fly in to the DW Stadium this afternoon.

Latics are desperately seeking three points to move out of the bottom three in the Championship.

It was a similar story when Brighton were last in town 18 months ago, for Caldwell’s first home game in charge since taking over from Malky Mackay.

The home side sneaked home 2-1 on that occasion, to at least take their ultimately unsuccessful fight against the drop into another week.

While the stakes are not nearly as high this time, with the season still at a fledgling stage, Caldwell is hoping lightning can strike twice and give his men a real shot in the arm.

“Brighton are a seasoned Championship team, who over the last few years have come close to getting promotion,” he told the Evening Post.

“This is a big test, we know that, but we’re at home and we beat them last time they were here.

“I always think that’s a good omen, and I like to bring up stuff like that in the build-up to games, because it’s funny how things like that seem to happen in football.

“It was my first game at the DW, so it was a big day for myself on a personal level.

“It was also a big day for the club, because we desperately needed to get the win.

“Tim Chow, a local lad, scored a goal on his debut which made it a special day for him, and hopefully history can repeat itself.”

In the Latics side that day was left-back Gaetan Bong, who impressed during a short spell at the DW before moving on at the end of the campaign – and a new challenge with Brighton.

“He was here when I got the job, and he did extremely well for the games I had him,” Caldwell acknowledged.

“I tried to sign him and keep him at the club, but obviously with relegation he wanted to move on and do different things in the Championship.

“He’s done extremely well at Brighton, he had a bad injury last year, but other than that he’s done very well.”

Caldwell knows it’ll be far harder to clip the wings of the Seagulls this time round, with Chris Hughton having instilled a real winning mentality since taking over a couple of years ago.

“They’ve got strength and experience throughout the team,” Caldwell recognised.

“They’re very organised, Chris Hughton teams know their jobs and they do them well. We know the task ahead of us but, as I’ve said before, at our best we’ll beat anyone.

“It’s up to us to go out at the DW and produce a performance that will get us the win.”

And despite the clash being third-top against third-bottom, Caldwell feels Latics have nothing to fear.

“The league table’s very tight and, as the weeks go by, the top starts to separate from the bottom,” he added.

“We have to make sure we don’t lose touch with that, and stay in contention with the teams at the top.

“I think you can see if we were to get a couple of wins how far up the league it could take us.

“Draws are good for confidence and momentum, but you have to win to climb the league.”