Caldwell and Sharpe: We’re the right fit

Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe with new manager Gary Caldwell

Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe with new manager Gary Caldwell

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HERE’S the dream team that will hopefully restore the good times to Wigan Athletic.

Gary Caldwell was yesterday unveiled as the club’s new manager, succeeding Malky Mackay who was axed as manager on Easter Monday.

If the relationship between manager and chairman is important, then I think we are starting on a good footing. We know each other well, we get on well, we want the same things for the football club

Gary Caldwell

It was the first significant decision made by new chairman David Sharpe since taking over from Dave Whelan last month.

Caldwell,32, and 23-year-old Sharpe are, respectively, the youngest manager and chairman in the Football League, with a combined age of only 55.

But rather than being at a disadvantage, Caldwell feels the years they have already spent learning the ropes at the DW will ensure the partnership can hit the ground running.

“I feel very fortunate,” said Caldwell, whose five-year playing career with Latics has officially been brought to an end. “I feel the relationship is there already.

“We have known each other since I have been at the club, but more closely for the last year and a half.

“If the relationship between manager and chairman is important, then I think we are starting on a good footing. We know each other well, we get on well, we believe and want the same things for the football club.

“From that point of view I am lucky as well. I am not going in blind, and having to get to know someone.

“We think this is the right fit, and now it’s down to me to work with the players and get them on the pitch and winning football games.”

Sharpe confirmed yesterday he made the decision to relieve Mackay of his duties without consulting his grandad, who is currently holidaying in Barbados.

He also admitted Caldwell was the one and only name on his wish-lead to lead Latics into a new era.

And the new manager firmly believes the fledgling partnership can bring the good times back to Wigan.

“The chairman is a young man obviously to have such a big responsibility, but he is very football-minded and he knows a lot when you speak to him,” added Caldwell.

“He’s been brought up with Wigan Athletic running through his veins. He’s been to so many games over the years and knows what good football is and what isn’t.

“I’m quite lucky to have been given the opportunity by the chairman to get the club back to where it wants to be.

“He’s obviously been brought up on the good old Premier League days, and I’ve got the chance to get back up there and create something that this club did which was an amazing story.

“Every club has highs and lows. This is a low, but we want to take it back to the highs of the Premier League.”

The deadline for fans with match tickets to claim free coach travel to Fulham tomorrow has been extended to 5pm tonight.