Gary Caldwell thinks Saturday’s draw with Burton was ‘a fair result’ after his side withstood a first-half bombardment to salvage a point.
Latics had plenty of chances themselves during a frustrating afternoon, which kicked-off with three changes to the starting side which drew 0-0 to Brentford before the international break.
They gave exactly what I knew they would giveGary Caldwell
One talking point was the absence of Will Grigg from the starting 11, with Adam Le Fondre, Nick Powell and Yanic Wildschut coming in for Grigg, Jordi Gomez and David Perkins, who were all on the bench.
But the shake-up failed to produce much-needed goals, and Caldwell took responsibility.
“Last time at home Adam scored and it was the right decision,” he explained.
“Today we didn’t get the goal so I have to accept responsibility for that.”
But where Latics lacked in attack, their defence was certainly up to the mark, surviving a string of threats to keep a second clean sheet in as many games.
“We look a lot more solid,” said Caldwell.
“The set-up defensively looks good.
“Attacking-wise, the creativity, the little bit of spark and energy and just the final pass wasn’t there, that’s the frustrating thing from the day.”
The result keeps Latics just outside of the bottom three ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Leeds, who slid to 12th in the table thanks to their 1-0 loss to Derby at the weekend, and while frustrated at not being able to secure all three points, Caldwell had no complaints about the outcome.
“It was probably a fair result,” he said.
“I think it wasn’t the greatest of games.
“In the first half they had the better chances, the better spells in the game.
“Second half, we controlled and created great opportunities so probably a draw was a fair result in the end.
“I picked the best team I felt could win the game.”
Former captain Craig Morgan came off the bench in the second half to make his return from a seven-week injury lay-off.
And Caldwell was happy to have the extra options the defender’s inclusion made available to him, and more players in the treatment room, such as Donervon Daniels and Reece James, should be making their way back onto the pitch soon.
“We want all our injured players back to give us the options to play different ways,” said Caldwell.
“Having Morgs gave us the three at the back which we felt, to match them up would be better.
“First half we didn’t get the ball to our wide men enough.
“There should have been one on one with the centre backs all day but if you don’t pass the ball well then it really doesn’t matter what formation you play because it ain’t gonna work.”
The result keeps Burton in 16th place in the table, and Caldwell was impressed with, if not surprised by, the performance of Nigel Clough’s men.
“I thought they were very good,” he said.
“They gave exactly what I knew they would give. I’ve watched them in great detail before the game.
“I knew how they played, the system they played, the team spirit, the togetherness, the forward runs.
“I knew and the players knew - there were no surprises in the way they played.”