GARY Caldwell is fully focused on steering Wigan Athletic a step closer to Wembley tomorrow after ‘signalled our intent’ to win the competition from the off.
Latics host Barnsley tomorrow at the DW Stadium, knowing a win would see them through to a northern area final against either Fleetwood or Morecambe.
After brushing aside Crewe and Blackpool, Caldwell is hoping his side can hold their form in the competition for the visit of the Tykes, who are rock bottom of League One.
“It’s like with any competition – the longer you go in it, the more you think about winning it,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“We signalled our intent straight away, with our performance at Crewe when I thought we were excellent.
“We carried that on into the Blackpool tie, despite making changes in both games.
“We’ve always put out teams that are more than competitive for this competition, and we’ll do the same on Saturday.
“I’ll play a team I believe is strong enough to win the game. I trust everyone in the squad, I think we’ve got a real depth that I’m happy with.”
Caldwell is expected to again shuffle his pack for the game, which could mean starts for Andy Kellett, Jack Hendry, Tim Chow, Sean Murray and Jordy Hiwula – the top scorer in this season’s competition with four goals.
Admission is pay on the day at the DW, priced just £5 adults and £1 juniors.
Meanwhile, Latics fan Gary Winstanley from Tuen Mun in Hong Kong is one of 72 overseas supporters in with a chance of winning a trip to the UK to see their team play, after being short-listed to win the Football League’s ‘Stand Up & Be Counted’ campaign.
The overall winner will be announced on Saturday evening’s ‘Football On 5’ highlights programme on Channel 5 from 9pm, with that fan then being flown over to watch Latics in action later this season.
A total of over 52,000 supporters from around the globe took part in the initiative, with at least one fan registered in all 247 of the different territories.
The country with the most fans registered was Australia, with a total of 8,667 fans standing up to be counted for their Football League club.
The results of the campaign showed Latics as a club boasted 513 overseas supporters, with the country with the most overseas fans being Australia.