Caldwell hails ‘incredible’ Latics

Gary Caldwell
Gary Caldwell

Boss Gary Caldwell hailed an ‘incredible’ first half that paved the way for Wigan Athletic to demolish Bury and move to within two points of the top of League One.

Latics had failed to beat the Shakers in three previous meetings this term - bowing out of both cup competitions and drawing the corresponding league game at Gigg Lane.

But three goals in the first 20 minutes meant there was never any danger this one wasn’t going to go the way of the form book.

Will Grigg headed home the first from a Yanic Wildschut cross, before Ryan Colclough scored his first goal for the club with a stinging left-foot shot.

Grigg then added number three from the penalty spot after he’d been tripped by Bury goalkeeper Ian Lawlor.

Any chance of Bury finding a way back into the game was foiled by Jussi Jaaskelainen, who pulled off a breathtaking double save to deny Tom Pope and Danny Mayor just before half-time, before denying Ryan Lowe with arguably better save shortly after the restart.

Latics could and should have extended their advantage in the second half, only for Grigg and Max Power to hit the bar with Lawlor beaten.

But Caldwell was delighted overall with his team, who are now unbeaten in 12 matches.

“I can always find fault with performances,” he said. “But seriously I thought we were incredible in the first half, with the way we went about the game.

“The pressure we applied on them, not allowing them to settle, meant we thoroughly deserved to be three goals up if not more at half-time.

“Having said that, they should have scored, and we have our goalie to thank for that.

“That was the one disappointment, the fact we were sloppy at times in our defending, but overall we’re delighted with a magnificent display.

“And we’re really looking forward to the week ahead with two big games that we can use to really kick on.”

With leaders Burton and Walsall sharing a goalless draw in the East Midlands, it means Latics are now up to within two points of the Brewers with, crucially, a four-point buffer between themselves and third spot.

Not that Caldwell is in any danger of getting carried away.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I don’t concern myself with the league table,” the Latics chief added.

“I only concern myself with performances, and how we’re progressing as a team.

“I’m happy with that although, as I’ve always said, there’s always something you can improve on.

“We’re not there yet as a team, we’re not hitting everything that we want to be doing, and we’ll keep working hard to try to improve.

“Come May 8 we’ll look at the league table and see where we are.”

Caldwell also reported positive injury news concerning defender Donervon Daniels, who missed the game due to a hamstring problem.

“It’s not as serious as we thought,” Caldwell revealed.

“He’s been outside running, doing hamstring protocol with the physios.

“Millwall on Tuesday will come too soon for him, but we’ll assess him in the later part of the week and see if he has a chance for next weekend.”