“THE season starts here!”
That’s the verdict from Gary Caldwell, who believes his Wigan Athletic squad has emerged from the transfer window ready and equipped to mount a sustained promotion push.
“I almost feel the season starts now, with the transfer window having shut,” revealed the Latics boss.
“We’ve only won single games so far, and we have to build momentum now.
“We need to put together a run of games that takes us up the league, and I believe this squad is ready to do that.
“I think the transfer window shutting helps, because all the talk of players coming and going can come to an end.
“Everything seemed to stop on Tuesday night – the phones stopped ringing, everything. And I feel comfortable with the group of players I’ve now got.
“We have a really good group in terms of spirit and application, and now we have to drill into them what it is we want to get out of them.”
When the music stopped on Tuesday, Caldwell had overseen a remarkable summer of wheeling and dealing, with 17 players leaving and a whopping 20 new arrivals.
“There’s been a massive turnaround since January, when I was still a player,” Caldwell acknowledged.
“It’s a whole new club, and I think that’s a good thing.
“We’ve got a real fresh chance now to kick on and create our own history for the football club.”
Caldwell has, however, received a huge blow on the eve of this afternoon’s trip to Chesterfield, with skipper Craig Morgan having been ruled out for up to a month.
“Morgs has a shoulder injury that he picked up at the end of the Crewe game last week,” Caldwell revealed.
“We didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, but the specialist says it could be three to four weeks.
“His absence will obviously be a huge blow because he’s the captain and he’s done very well for us.
“He’s been a big part of the back three and, with him out, it’ll be difficult to play that formation.”
That said, Caldwell does not feel the loss of his skipper will force him to enter the loan market, which re-opens next week.
“I don’t think so, we’ve done all our business,” he added. “We’ve had a lot of people both out and in – everyone who wanted to go, had to go, or who we chose to go, has now left – and I believe we’ve now got a squad that’s ready to mount a serious challenge.”