Caldwell encouraged by positive signs

Gary Caldwell watches on at Dunee. Photo: Bernard Platt
Gary Caldwell watches on at Dunee. Photo: Bernard Platt

GARY Caldwell wants his players to concentrate on perfecting a few finishing touches before their League One campaign kicks off.

The Latics manager watched his side slip to a 1-0 defeat at Dundee last night in the second of their pre-season games in Scotland – but asserted there were plenty of positives to take from the tour.

Overall, though, we’re very pleased after a tough week with two good games, really competitive games and we’re a step closer to where we want to be for the start of the season

Gary Caldwell

With the season getting underway in two weeks’ time, Caldwell has been pleased with what he described as a ‘tough’ week on tour and can see the benefits of his first pre-season on and off the field.

Caldwell told www.wiganlatics.co.uk: “I said to the players that the attitude, the application and the work rate we put into the game was excellent but we just lacked a little bit of quality and we need to keep working on that because it’s still not quite there.

“Overall, though, we’re very pleased after a tough week with two good games, really competitive games and we’re a step closer to where we want to be for the start of the season.

“I think the team spirit grows on a tour like this... working every day with the players and seeing them not just on the training pitch but in the hotel as well.”

Summer signing Max Power took a knock to his ankle during last night’s defeat but the boss said the injury wasn’t serious – and Caldwell was also encouraged by the progress made by other squad members.

“Max Power is OK, he took a bit of a knock on his ankle but he should be fine. It got a bit feisty out there but it was good to see we stood up to it, were willing to put our bodies into challenges and that shows we’re pretty close to where we want,” he said.

“The physios said we could give Craig Davies 30 minutes and I wanted to give him that from the start of the game alongside Will (Grigg) and I thought they did well together.

“Andrew Taylor and Chris McCann did well as central defenders, Chris has been excellent in both games in Scotland in that position and I asked Tayls to play in that position this morning, he’s experienced and he did it very well so there are positives.”

Caldwell has now seen his new look squad in match action three times, and with the opposition getting stronger each time, he is encouraged by how his players have reacted.

“Seeing how they react to two high quality games in terms of the opposition and the threat that they pose and then the fitness levels have gone up too so all in all it’s been a good week and we’re closer to where we want to be,” he said.