Wounded Latics are ‘ready and hungry’

Chris McCann picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at the weekend, triggering a one-match suspension

Chris McCann picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at the weekend, triggering a one-match suspension

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GARY Caldwell has subjected himself to repeat viewings of the FA Cup drubbing at Bury – to ensure Wigan Athletic bounce back to winning ways against Blackpool tonight.

Latics entertain the Seasiders in the JPT northern area quarter-final looking to exorcise the demons of a Gigg Lane horror show that led to an ‘embarrassed’ Caldwell apologising to the fans.

I’m looking for a real reaction in terms of a positive performance and a positive result to get us going again

Gary Caldwell

And he revealed the last couple of days have been just as painful, as he pored over the DVD in all its gruesome detail to try to figure out what went wrong – and how to put it right.

“It hurts the first time you watch it, and it hurts even more when you see it again,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.

“But that’s my job – I have to find reasons behind what happened, and look at things we can be better at.

“When we get opportunities we have to be more ruthless, and we definitely have to defend a lot better than we did throughout the game.

“It happens in football, to the very best teams in the world. It’s how you react as a club – sticking together, rallying around each other – that’s important.”

Caldwell spared his players the agony of sitting through the defeat to avoid inflicting lasting damage.

“I didn’t show the DVD to the players,” he revealed. “I think sometimes that kind of thing can have a negative impact. The players know what they served up wasn’t good enough, and we’ve discussed it as a group.

“Setbacks are inevitable in football and in life, and it’s what you do about them that defines you.

“Saturday has gone, the scoreline has gone. We now have to focus on what we do about it.

“We’ve dealt with it, we’ve moved on, and we look forward to progressing in a new competition.

“Everyone’s eager to play against Blackpool, we’re looking forward to it and that’s the way it has to be.”

Caldwell will be forced into at least a couple of enforced changes, with Chris McCann and Francisco Junior picking up their fifth yellow cards of the season at Bury which triggers one-match bans.

“Junior and Chris are both good players and will be a big loss for us,” Caldwell recognised. “But we’ve got a big squad and I’m sure we’ll be able to cope.”

The Scot says he already knows the identity of the 11 players who will take to the field, hoping to take Latics to within two wins of Wembley.

“I know my team,” he added. “I had an idea of what it would be, and it has changed slightly since Saturday, but I know who’ll be playing and I know they’ll be ready and hungry for it.

“I’m looking for a real reaction in terms of a positive performance and a positive result to get us going again.

“The players have to represent themselves and the club a lot better than the players who played on Saturday did – and I’m sure they will.”