Captain ready for the big push

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SKIPPER Gary Caldwell has called on his weary Wigan wonders to dig deep one more time to guarantee their Premier League status.

Latics go to Stoke this weekend knowing a victory will secure their safety for another season, barring a mathematical miracle.

Charles N’Zogbia’s last-gasp winner against West Ham means Latics take their survival bid to ‘Survival Sunday’ for the second time in five seasons.

Although the players extended every last ounce of energy against the Hammers, Caldwell insists it’ll mean nothing if they can’t back it up at the Britannia.

He told the Evening Post: “It was a great day for the fans, which they’ll remember for a long time, but it will be ruined if we go and lose on Sunday.

“We’ve had to keep our feet on the ground this week, because we know we’ve achieved nothing.

“It’s a big week for us in terms of recovery and preparation to be ready for another huge challenge at Stoke.

“There were some tired bodies in there at the end, I promise you, and you feel it even more when you get home and sit down.

“But it’s all about recovering and re-grouping as best you can, and keeping hold of that desire we had in the second half.

“The good thing is we showed that in a crisis we can come out fighting, and we’ll need that kind of commitment again at Stoke.”

Caldwell, along with many of his colleagues, is still coming to terms with one of the most incredible comebacks in Premier League history.

Two goals down at the break, Latics were all-but relegated until goals from N’Zogbia and Conor Sammon set up a frantic finale, with the Frenchman bagging Wigan’s third goal with virtually the last kick.

“It’s impossible to sum up that last few minutes,” Caldwell acknowledged.

“You think you’ve seen everything in football, and then you have a day like that.

“All credit to us – we fought hard and we got our rewards in the end.

“At 2-0 down, you’re dead and buried, and you have to have a lot of belief, character and talent to come back from that.

“Tactics go out of the window at that stage, it’s a battle of minds and who cracks first.

“We put everything into that second half, and we could have lost it before we won it.

“But we had to go and win the game and thankfully we did that.”

The former Celtic star also admits the way the side fought for their Premier League lives stands them in good stead for Sunday’s trip to the Potteries – especially if the worst happens and they fall behind.