GARY Caldwell has challenged his Wigan Athletic side to ‘make their own history’ when they renew acquaintances with the FA Cup at Bury this weekend.
Just two-and-a-half years after winning the famous cup at Wembley, Latics face first-round action at Gigg Lane against the Shakers.
Bury boss David Flitcroft has already ramped up the pressure on Latics by drawing attention to the huge budget ‘mighty’ Latics have at their disposal.
It’s not the first time an opposition boss has attempted to play the poverty card ahead of a clash with Latics this term.
Not that Caldwell will be getting drawn into a war of words in the lead-up.
“I think Flicks could be a politician from one or two of the things I’ve been reading,” laughed the Wigan chief.
“Football is a game for players and it’s played out there on the pitch.
“It’s not going to be won by budgets or spreadsheets – it’ll be won by the teams and the players.
“A manager told me once that you must respect the opposition, but you must also have trust in your own team. And I trust my team to go out on the pitch to win the game.
“Flicks is playing games, but he’s not putting us under any more pressure than we’re already putting on ourselves.”
While being respectful of Wigan’s recent achievements in the competition, Caldwell knows that will count for nothing come kick-off.
“This is a new team,” he acknowledged. “We want to make our own history and hopefully that starts on Saturday.”
With a virtual full-strength squad to choose from, Caldwell admits he will take the opportunity to have a look at a few fringe players – while retaining the competitive edge that has seen Latics go 10 games unbeaten.
“We’ve got the opportunity to use the big squad we have, and some players deserve the opportunity to show what they can do,” he explained.
“Without giving away my team, we will be shuffling the pack. It would be silly not to with such a large squad.”