GARY Caldwell can’t wait to get back to business with Wigan Athletic this weekend – to mask his midweek pain in Spain.
The Latics skipper was part of the Scotland side who saw their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 ended in cruel fashion by the scintillating Spaniards.
Caldwell – who will be 32 by the time the next World Cup in 2014 rolls around – must be wondering if his hopes of appearing at a major tournament have passed him by.
But the ex-Celtic man insists there were positives which will stand the Tartan Army in good stead for the World Cup qualifying campaign – where they will face Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Macedonia and Wales.
“We showed we can compete and we are going to be playing lesser teams in the next competition, and hopefully we will do better,” Caldwell said.
The big centre-back was given yesterday off along with the rest of his Wigan team-mates ahead of the massive local derby with Bolton on Saturday.
Only Maynor Figueroa has not yet returned from international duty, the Honduran still in transit having represented his country in both north and south American during the past week.
Roberto Martinez has reported no fresh injuries ahead of the visit of Bolton, and is mulling over the tantalising possibility of having Hugo Rodallega, Antolin Alcaraz and Albert Crusat back from injury for the weekend.
“It’s still too early to tell whether any of the three injured players will be involved,” said Martinez. “But Albert is recovering really well, while Antolin continues to progress as well as we can have expected.
“Hugo too is coming along. In fact all three are probably slightly ahead of schedule, but it’s still too early to know one way or another.”