Caldwell: Missing out on title would be a disaster

Gary Caldwell says the mood has been 'lively'
Gary Caldwell says the mood has been 'lively'

Gary Caldwell told his staff it would be “a disaster” if Latics don’t go up as champions.

Victory at Blackpool today can effectively secure the League One title with a game to go.

A draw or loss will send the race down to the final weekend.

And Caldwell said: “I said to the staff, ‘It would be a disaster if we didn’t win it.’

“They tended to be less dramatic than that! But we want to win it. That’s been our aim since day one and we don’t want to let that slip now.”

Technically, a victory at Bloomfield Road – in a 12.30pm kick-off – can not guarantee Latics the title because their closest challengers, Burton, face Gillingham at 3pm and could draw level on points with victory.

But with Caldwell’s men enjoying a superior goal difference of 17, it would need a mathematical miracle on the final day to deny Wigan if they are triumphant today.

With promotion already as good as guaranteed, the Scot is confident his players won’t ease up on the home straight.

“The mood has been lively, they’ve trained well, they look eager,” he said.

“I hope they’re hungry to achieve more. I’m sure they have the quality and belief to finish the job.

“I’ve said to the players, ‘Go and win’. We’ve prepared for this game and all our attention is on winning the game.

“We want to achieve more than promotion.”

Lowly Blackpool beat Latics 1-0 at the DW in December and need the points to try and avoid relegation. If Latics lose or draw, all eyes will turn to the result between Burton – three points behind – and Gillingham.

Latics, who end their season at home to Barnsley next Sunday, will be cheered on by a bumper away following of 3,000 today.

And Caldwell added: “The supporters have had some tough times in recent years, but they’ve enjoyed seeing this team grow.

“They can associate with a lot of the players – they feel a part of it – and hopefully we can give them a title to celebrate.”