Caldwell: We need to get up and running

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

Gary Caldwell was frustrated with tonight’s 2-1 League Cup defeat to Oldham, saying he wanted to get Wigan’s season ‘up and running’.

Will Grigg’s first-half equaliser looked to have done enough to take the tie to extra-time after Ryan Flynn had opened the scoring for the home side.

But as Wigan hung on with 10 men after Jake Buxton was sent off in first half added time, Josh Law struck to dump Caldwell’s men out of the competition at the first hurdle.

But the Wigan manager saw plenty of positives in his side’s display.

“We wanted to get our season up and running, but I was delighted with the performance from start to finish, apart from the two goals,” he said.

“I said to the players you can’t give goals like that away and expect to win games, but overall the way we passed the ball, the bravery with 10 men, the energy we showed with 10 men.

“I was delighted with a lot of things.”

Caldwell made nine changes to the starting XI that lost to Bristol City on the opening day of the season last Saturday.

And with a home opener against Blackburn coming up this Saturday, Caldwell stressed the importance of rotating his squad.

“It was important I felt the players got a game tonight,” he explained.

“They’ve had their pre-season and it was important they got a game with Saturday in mind.

“It was good I managed to do that.”

But the manager admitted the result was a disappointment, though he said it gives the team more to build on as the season warms-up.

“We don’t want to lose any game, we want to win, and we’re hurting.

“But we also know if we keep performing at that level and cut out the silly mistakes we’ll start winning games very quickly.”

Last night discussion among fans was on transfers, with rumours surfacing Latics have agreed a deal to bring in striker Patrick Bamford from Chelsea, as well as Liverpool youngster Cameron Brannagan.

But Caldwelll insisted neither deal had been struck - though he said he’s still looking for fresh faces.

“I think we still know we need to add strength to the squad,” he said.

“We have to add more strength and depth but overall we’re happy with the performance.

“We’re working hard to try and make that happen and I’m sure we will - though there will be none in the next few days I should imagine.”