GARY Caldwell reckoned Wigan Athletic’s incredible come-from-behind victory at Chesterfield at the weekend was no more than his players deserved.
Latics trailed 2-0 heading into the last 10 minutes at the Proact Stadium, but a remarkable sequence of events saw them gain their first away points - and goals - of the season.
If the fans didn’t enjoy that one, then they shouldn’t be coming to football gamesGary Caldwell
After Leon Barnett, who had earlier put through his own net, had reduced the arrears, CVraig Davies scored the equaliser from the penalty spot. And substitute Jordy Hiwala was in the right place at the right time to score the winner with seconds remaining.
“You never write this group off,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“It’s an unbelievable group of players, their work ethic is phenomenal and they made a real statement that they won’t be beaten.
“That’s why you play football - to win games and make your fans happy.
“If the fans didn’t enjoy that one, then they shouldn’t be coming to football games.
“Wins like that are very special.”
The Chesterfield players looked shell-shocked at the full-time whistle, but Caldwell insisted it had not been a typical smash-and-grab.
“I thought we had deserved to be in front after the first half,” the Latics chief said.
“Before they scored, we played well, we created
opportunities, a lot of
things we’d worked on had worked.
“In the second half, we just came out and had a crazy 10 minutes.
“Their first goal was obviously a great strike, the second goal was just crazy, and you find yourself 2-0 down in a game that we should have been winning.
“But character and desire - as I said to the lads - is something you need in any successful football team.
“And the way they played in the last 10-15 minutes was phenomenal, and we deserved to win in the end.
“I’ve said from day one that they’re a great group in terms of application and effort.
“We still know we’ve got to get better in a lot of areas, but if you have that then you’ll go a long way.
“I just hope we don’t have to go 2-0 down every week.
“I was saying to the lads, I’m going to end up looking like Graham Barrow with the grey hair at this rate.
“That’s not how we want to win games, but at times you do need that desire to keep going.
“The boys never stopped pushing and pushing and pushing, and we’re going to need that for the rest of the season.”
After 2-0 defeats on the road at Coventry and Gillingham, it was the perfect way to the get the away form up and running.
“Not only have we come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 away from home, it’s the first away win of the season - and that makes it even more special,” added Caldwell.
“The character was tested to the limit, and the boys passed with flying colours.
“If this doesn’t give you confidence away from home, then nothing will.”