WIGAN Athletic’s players will have the wise words of Sir Alex Ferguson ringing in their ears as they take to the field at Crewe this afternoon.
Latics - unbeaten in six matches - visit the rock-bottom Railwaymen as red-hot favourites to pick up a win that will hopefully cut the four-point gap between themselves and automatic promotion.
All the expectation will be on Gary Caldwell’s men, who have already beaten Crewe twice this term - at home in the corresponding fixture and on this ground in the JPT.
But Caldwell is adamant there will be no hint of complacency in the camp, thanks to some wise words from the Manchester United legend.
“The key word is complacency - and we use that a lot,” Caldwell revealed.
“Complacency is something Sir Alex Ferguson used to say is a disease.
“Myself and the staff actually went to a talk earlier in the year when he was talking about that, and it’s something we talk about a lot here.
“With the recent events of Sheffield United, and the Blackpool defeat at home, we have first-hand proof that complacency can kill you in football.
“We have to be ready for every minute of every game - no matter if you’re 5-0 up or 1-0 down.
“You have to always be playing at your maximum if you want to be successful.”
Caldwell is no stranger to huge expecation, having captained Celtic for many years in the SPL.
“Probably the biggest thing I learned as a Celtic player was you just can’t go into any game thinking you’re going to coast,” he acknowledged.
“We were always up there to be shot at, and every game was very demanding.
“While we had better players than the rest, and we should have been winning the games, it wasn’t easy.
“You had to have a mindset from Monday to Saturday of winning a game - and I think we have got that here.
“The training is fierce, it’s competitive, and we take that into a Saturday no matter who we’re playing.
“It is hard to play at a club that wants to be successful.
“That’s why the best players tend to end up at the best clubs - because they have that mentality every day of winning.
“It’s down to hard work, and there’s no other way round it.
“You can’t coast Monday-Friday and come in on a Saturday thinking you’re going to coast through. That’s not going to happen.
Everyone at the club has a part to play - whether you’re the manager, the cleaner at the training ground, the best player in the team - and there are standards you have to reach every day.
“If everyone follows them then you will be successful.”