GARY Caldwell admitted his Wigan Athletic side are taking ‘one step forward and two steps back’ as they try desperately to get their season up and running.
Latics picked up their first point of the campaign – and moved off the foot of League One – yesterday thanks to a 0-0 draw with Doncaster.
There’s signs it’s coming together, then it’s maybe one step forward and two steps backGary Caldwell
But it was the visitors who left the DW feeling the most aggrieved not to have won the game.
Latics hit the bar in the first half through Michael Jacobs and had a massive shout for a penalty - after Max Power was barged over in the box - turned down in the dying seconds.
Doncaster, however, will point to three unsuccessful penalty appeals, as well as a Gary MacKenzie header cleared off the line and a succession of superb stops from Latics goalkeeper Rich O’Donnell, as proof of their domination.
“We’ve had good performances so far, but today wasn’t great,” acknowledged Caldwell.
“We had spells in the game where we did a lot of good things, and the players were doing what we are asking of them. But overall it was disappointing, there’s a lot to work on.
“There’s signs it’s coming together, then it’s maybe one step forward and two steps back. But we’ll keep working and I know we’ll get it right.”
Latics were hampered by continually coughing up possession thanks to lapses in concentration, poor decision-making and mix-ups at the back.
But Caldwell feels that is an inevitable by-product of having such a high turnover of staff this summer.
“Whenever you put new players together, they’re training every day but it takes time to get those partnerships and that understanding going, and how we’re trying to play,” the Scot recognised.
“I’ve been here as a player, when you’re trying to play a certain way, and you have to be brave.
“You know when it goes wrong at times that the crowd are going to get on your back, but you have to be bigger than that and do what’s right for the team.
“I know it will come right - because as a player I saw it work at different clubs.
“It was never perfect at the beginning, but you have to persist with it, you have to believe in it, and we all believe in it.
“I’m sure in the coming weeks you’ll see progress and a team that can control games and go on to win them.”
Meanwhile, Caldwell reiterated his desire to remain active in the transfer market until the deadline in just over a fortnight. Centre-back Leon Barnett started yesterday’s game despite speculation linking him with a move to Preston.
And Caldwell believes there could well be more movement both in and out as he tries to find the winning formula.
“The window is open until the end of August, and we will keep on looking as I’m sure other teams will be looking at our players,” he added.
“If there is an opportunity to do something - and if it’s good for the club - then we will do it.”