Morgan is reluctant hero for Latics

Craig Morgan
Craig Morgan

GARY Caldwell revealed Craig Morgan’s decision to go forward for a 96th-minute corner that won the game for Wigan Athletic against Gillingham was a spur-of-the-moment call.

The Welshman was in the right place at the right time to cap off another memorable comeback for Latics, who trailed 2-0 after an hour only to record a sensational three points.

And Morgan was only on hand to get his head to Max Power’s pinpoint corner because Gillingham elected to bring everyone back in the defensive line.

“It was Craig’s decision to go forward,” admitted the Latics boss.

“They brought everyone back - and they usually leave one man up.

“Players have to take responsibility, he did that.

“He doesn’t like to go forward for set-pieces for some reason, but after that he will be doing in the future.

“It was a fantastic delivery first and foremost, but it was a fantastic leap and a great connection to get it in to the top corner.

“Great scenes for the fans to get that at the end.”

The goal was a real kick in the guts for a Gillingham side who had looked good value to repeat their win over Latics in the corresponding fixture back in August.

Caldwell, though, believes it was a fair reflection of the 90 minutes.

After Dominic Samuel and Rory Donnelly had put the Gills in charge with a goal in either half, Latics restored parity midway through the second period through Will Grigg and Max Power.

“I think we got what we deserved in the end,” the Latics boss said.

“While it wasn’t great, I thought we’d done more than enough to have scored a goal before we did.

“I thought we created some great chances in the first half, we just couldn’t put it in the net.

“It was frustrating to go 1-0 down at that point, and we started the second start a bit sluggish.

“They scored a second goal, but the resilience and the character this group shows - time and again - is fantastic.

“They never know when they’re beat, they just keep coming and coming, and you need that if you want to be a great team.”

The game-changer was undoubtedly Caldwell’s decision to throw on Chris McCann and Jordy Hiwula shortly after Gillingham’s second goal.

And the duo repaid their manager’s faith by helping Latics to pull off the most unlikely of victories.

“I think that sums up the squad that we have,” Caldwell acknowledged.

“In most games this year the subs have made an impact and tonight they really did - Chris especially carrying the team forward.

“We have to start games like that, we have to be more confident in ourselves, more on the front foot, with more urgency to our play.

“It was good, but it can be a lot better.

“When we chase games like that, that’s when I feel we look at our best, and we look a real attacking threat.

“I would like it to be easier than that, because it is stressful to watch it at that point.

“But it’s good to know we have those gears if we need to use them.”

Caldwell felt his men were rewarded for pushing for the win in stoppage-time even though a point may have been a decent result in the circumstances.

“I don’t think we’ve ever not gone for it in a game,” he added.

“At times, it’s possibly been our downfall, but when you go for it, over the course of a season, you get your rewards - and we did.”