Caldwell: We can go to Norwich and win
Gary Caldwell reckons Wigan Athletic are more than capable of emerging from their mini-slump and springing a massive shock at high-flying Norwich on Tuesday night.
Latics are looking for only their second win of the campaign at Carrow Road, having picked up just four points from their opening six league games as well as crashing out of the League Cup at the first attempt.
That said, Caldwell has lost none of the belief in his side as they attempt to get back to winning ways.
“We’ll be going to Norwich to win,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“We always set up that way, regardless of what kind of run we’re on.
“As a player you have to adopt a mentality of putting defeats to the back of your mind and try to perform and win the game.
“It will be a tough challenge, but I believe this group of players can go there and perform.”
It’s the second tough away game in the space of four days, on the back of Saturday’s 2-1 loss at another team fancied for promotion, Sheffield Wednesday.
“Saturday was the first time this season I feel we’ve been beaten by a team that’s been better than us,” Caldwell conceded.
“In none of the other games have we been outplayed by the opposition.
“We have to learn from that and come back stronger on Tuesday.
“There’s no panic – the effort and application is there – and we have to get back to being ourselves.
“Every game in this league is a test.
“I think already this season we’ve seen that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you can get results.
“Teams like Burton and Barnsley have shown that smaller clubs can win games at this level, and we have to play the way we want to and get results to take us up there with those teams.
“Man for man, they shouldn’t be where they are, but they are because they are playing their way – and that’s what we have to do.”
Norwich moved back into the play-off places at the weekend thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Cardiff.
And Caldwell expects them to remain there – and perhaps even climb into the top two – given the array of riches available to boss Alex Neil.
“When you come down from the Premier League, you do so with a lot of quality players,” Caldwell acknowleded.
“They have a lot of threats, mainly high up the pitch – similar to Sheffield Wednesday – and we have to be ready to deal with that.
“But it’s not about defending, and trying to stop their attacking players.
“It’s about controlling the game with the ball, and we’ll be aiming to do that.”
Caldwell also gave a huge slap on the back to countryman Neil, who is aiming to win his second promotion with City having only been in the job less than two years.
“I think he’s an excellent manager who’s helping fly the flag for Scottish managers again,” the Latics boss added.
“At a time when Scottish managers were beginning to drift out of English football, he came in from Hamilton – where he’d done a fantastic job – and dragged Norwich into the play-offs and into the Premier League.
“He’s somebody I have a huge amount of respect for, having done the pro-licence together, and it’ll be great to see him on the night.”