GARY Caldwell is pinning just as much importance on tonight’s Capital One Cup tie against Bury as any of Wigan Athletic’s league fixtures this term.
Latics entertain the Shakers looking to bounce back from the 2-0 defeat at Coventry in their League One opener on Saturday.
I want to create a winning culture around this football club where we want to be competitive in every single gameGary Caldwell
And the manager will be selecting as strong a side as possible to try to build some momentum to take into Sunday’s home league opener against Doncaster.
“It’s a big game,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“Every game for us is a big game – that’s the way I see it.
“It’s a cup-tie, and one that we really want to go and win.
“We want to be competitive in every game we play and I’m confident we will be tonight.
“I want to create a winning culture around this football club where we want to be competitive in every single game.
“I’ll be putting out a team I believe will win the game.”
Just as losing became an all-too-familiar habit last term, Caldwell believes getting on the winning trail as quickly as possible is imperative t their hopes of a successful season.
“Winning games is a habit and it’s important to get that confidence and belief as soon as we can,” he acknowledged.
“It’s our first home game of the season, we’ll have a good backing, and we want to put on a display and get a result.
“We want to make the DW Stadium a fortress, make it a difficult place for visiting teams to come and play.”
Tonight’s game is the first of three in the space of just eight days that either get the season belatedly up and running or exacerbate the pressure on the team and their new boss.
“That’s the situation we’re in, that’s football nowadays,” Caldwell recognised.
“It’s often going to be Saturday-Tuesday and you have to recover, dust yourself down and learn from the experience and move on.
“We wanted to put down a marker on Saturday, we didn’t manage to do that, and we have to move on.”
Caldwell will be forced into at least a couple of changes with none of his three loan players allowed to play in the competition.
That means Kevin McNaughton should replace Jonjoe at right-wing back, while Caldwell could opt to draft in striker Craig Davies for midfielder Francesco Junior to offer Will Grigg greater support up top.
Sean Murray, who came on as a late sub at the Ricoh Arena, is also unavailable.
Fans can pay on the turnstiles tonight, priced £10 adults, £5 over 65s and £1 under 16s. Kick-off is 7.45pm.
Meanwhile, Latics are understood to be closing in on signing ex-Bolton and West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, 40, who has been training with the club.