GARY Caldwell has called on his Wigan Athletic side to show ‘greater consistency’ after seeing them complete back-to-back away wins over the festive period thanks to a 3-1 victory at Fleetwood.
Latics dominated for the majority of the Highbury encounter, with Andy Kellett giving them a half-time lead with his second goal in as many starts for the club.
But after hitting the woodwork through Donervon Daniels and Max Power, Latics looked as though they would let a couple of points slip away when Daniels fouled Town forward David Ball in the penalty area and Antoni Sarcevic despatched the spot-kick.
With the home side pushing for an unlikely winner, Caldwell gambled and threw on Yanic Wildschut and Jordy Hiwula with 10 minutes to go, and watched the former set up the latter for a crucial goal within three minutes.
The points were sealed when Michael Jacobs raced clear and slotted home in stoppage-time, but Caldwell believes it was closer than it needed to be.
“We’re looking for greater consistency – both in terms of the week to week and also in the 90 minutes,” he told the Evening Post.
“It’s something we need to work on.
“But what we have got is a great work rate and a great desire.
“And when you’ve got that, it’ll take you a long way.” The game was never going to be a classic given the blustery wind, but Caldwell was pleased with the way his side overcame the elements to stamp their authority on proceedings.
“I thought we played well in very difficult conditions,” he said.
“In the first half I thought, without creating too many chances, we were very much in control and got ourselves in front.
“In the second half, against a really strong wind, we managed to create two great opportunities, and hit the bar twice.
“At that point you know they’re going to come back in to the game, with the wind behind them, and they got back on level terms when I thought we were still quite comfortable in the game.
“After that, we had a fantastic reaction – which we’ve seen a few times already this season.
“They never know when they’re down, they keep on fighting, and they came back to win convincingly in the end.”
Caldwell was particularly pleased with the contribution of Kellett, who again played in an advanced midfield role and emulated his opening goal against Barnsley last week.
“It’s a position we played him in last week at Barnsley, and I thought it didn’t work quite as well with the way they set up and denied us space,” Caldwell added.
“The pitch was a little bit tighter here than it was at Oakwell, but he still managed to find the space to wriggle away and get his shot off for the first goal.
“Two goals in two games from that position shows the quality he has.” Town boss Steven Pressley acknowledged his struggling side had come up against one of the top teams in League One.
But having got themselves back on level terms, Pressley felt slightly aggrieved to have come away with nothing.
“They are a side blessed with a great depth to the squad,” he said.
“They have the biggest budget in the league, you expect that.
“All in all I’m really happy with how the players go about things.”