Caldwell: We’re still a long way from where we want to be

Gary Caldwell watches form the sideline on Saturday
Gary Caldwell watches form the sideline on Saturday
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GARY Caldwell was happy to take the three points from Saturday’s 1-0 win over Shrewsbury - while freely admitting Wigan Athletic can ‘do a lot better’.

Latics edged a scrappy encounter at the DW Stadium thanks to Alex Revelll’s first-half header.

Records are obviously great to get, but we’re still a long way away from achieving what we want to achieve

Gary Caldwell

It was far from vintage stuff from Caldwell’s men, who moved up into fourth spot in the table after extending their unbeaten run in the league to 11 matches.

But as the manager was quick to acknowledge, it takes the side one step closer to where they want to be at the end of the season.

“As a team we know we can do a lot better,” recognised Caldwell, whose side have now kept five clean sheets in a row – a joint-stadium record – on home soil.

“To win games and get a run going like we have is such a difficult thing.

“But the boys are working hard for each other to get the clean sheets that are so important.

“Winning games 1-0 is

a very important factor in

being able to achieve the goals we want to achieve this season.

“It’s progress, we’re winning games, and that’s a good habit to get in.

“Records are obviously great to get, but we’re still a long way away from achieving what we want to achieve.

“We’ll keep focusing on the next game and trying to win that, and keep building on what we’re doing.”

Shrewsbury’s game-plan was evident from the off, Micky Mellon’s side doing their best to get among the Wigan side to try to knock them out of their stride.

“You could see they wanted to try and rough us up, get tackles in and try and upset our rhythm,” assessed Caldwell.

“We’ve learned a lot since the start of the season, because in previous games that might have upset us.

“I didn’t think that happened today. In the first half, we played very well and could have scored more than the one goal.

“In the second half, we allowed them back into the game a bit.”

It was a tough day at the office for Latics ahead of tomorrow night’s visit of fellow high-flyers Burton.

Caldwell, though, insists his men remain in good shape despite the heavy workload.

“The energy levels are fine at the moment,” he insisted.

“It was the passing in the second half that let us down – simple passing from A to B was poor.

“When you give the ball away as cheaply as we

did, whichever team you’re playing are going to get impetus in the game and give you problems.

“I thought our energy levels were fantastic. We had to chase the ball a lot more than we’d like, but we did that very well.

“We’ll recover between now and Tuesday and be ready to come out fighting again.”

No-one summed up the energy-levels comment more than Tim Chow, who ran his blood to water during a rare start at right wing-back.

“When you see Tim play, that’s his main asset – his energy levels are phenomenal,” gushed Caldwell.

“They had an overload in midfield, and the wing-backs had to tuck in to help out.

“Then, when the ball was on the opposite wing, both he and Reece (James) were getting into the box and adding to the attack.”

The Scot also revealed the thinking behind the surprising decision to leave vice-captain Jason Pearce on the bench from the off.

“I just feel we’d been doing well at home, and it’s a big advantage having someone of Chris McCann’s quality in bringing the ball out from the back,” Caldwell added.

“That gives us an attacking threat from a defensive position.

“Pearcey took it the way I knew he would – he’s a team player and was ready when called upon in the second half.

“It’s a big week for us, and we’re going to need everyone involved in the squad.”