GARY Caldwell watched Wigan Athletic side destroy beleaguered Blackpool to advance to the northern area semi-finals of the JPT then declared: “I’d love to take this club back to Wembley and win the trophy”.
Latics dominated from virtually the first minute to the last at the DW Stadium, scoring four fine goals without reply.
We’ve only won this competition twice in our history, and when you get the opportunity to win trophies you don’t want to turn them downGary Caldwell
They now stand just two hurdles away from a final appearance in a competition they won in 1985 and 1999.
And few would back against them if they can reproduce this form in the coming rounds.
“I would love to take this club back to Wembley and win a trophy – albeit not the FA Cup that we won so recently,” said Caldwell.
“We’ve only won this competition twice in our history, and when you get the opportunity to win trophies you don’t want to turn them down.
“We’re in the hat for the next round, we’ll put out another strong side and try to keep progressing.”
It was the perfect response to the 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Bury just 72 hours before, that had left the manager ‘embarrassed’ and apologising to the fans.
“I said after the game on Saturday that I was massively disappointed, and we had to move from it and react to it in the right way,” he acknowledged.
“It was great that we had a game so quickly after Saturday, and I saw in training on Sunday and Monday there was a real desire to get back to winning ways.
“I think you saw that with the performance - to make as many changes as we did, and to still get that quality and cohesion in the way we want to play, was very pleasing.
“And to get the four goals, to make it so emphatic, was great to see.”
Jordy Hiwula scored the first and fourth goals, with Sean Murray and substitute Yanic Wildschut also finding the scoresheet on a very one-side evening.
With Craig Davies leading the line with pace and power and Andy Kellett impressing down the left-hand side, Caldwell could not hide his satisfaction at a job well done.
“I thought we took maybe 10-15 minutes to get going, which is understandable given there were so many players who haven’t played a lot and haven’t played together probably ever,” Caldwell added.
“But I thought we played out from the back comfortably, and we started to get it going through midfield.
“The middle to front, which is obviously the most difficult part, took a little longer to get going.
“But once we started getting it into Craig’s feet, and in to Jordy, then I thought we started to look really dangerous.”
Meanwhile, Latics are being strongly linked with a loan move for Cardiff striker Alex Revell.
The 32-year-old has been lined up following the loan exit of Grant Holt to Wolves and Shaq Coulthard’s return to parent club Tottenham.