GARY Caldwell hopes Jordan Flores will learn from his moment of madness that cost Wigan Athletic dear at Oldham.
The visitors had been in control of the first meeting between the two sides for 13 years, after Max Power’s rocket had put them in front just before the break.
However, after Flores had been red-carded 20 minutes from time for his petulant reaction to a late challenge from Oldham’s Jay Fulton, the game turned on its head.
Substitute Dominic Poleon levelled within four minutes, and in the end Latics were pleased to return home with a point.
After the game, Caldwell - refreshingly in the modern game - was in no mood to excuse his player.
“His reaction is silly,” acknowledged the Wigan boss.
“Their boy’s come through him, it’s a bad tackle, but he’s not done much.
“As soon as you react like that - as we saw in the Arsenal Premier League game last weekend - with petulance, referees seem to pick up on them.
“It’s disappointing because, up to that point, we’d been in total control of the game.
“Only when that happens do they have an impact on the game.”
Caldwell also admitted there wasn’t much in the way of sympathy for the 19-year-old in the dressing room.
“It won’t be a consoling arm,” Caldwell revealed. “You can’t let your team-mates down like that.
“When people come in and make tackles, you have to stand up to it - you can’t react like that.
“He’s let his team-mates down and it’s a harsh lesson for him.
“You have to learn from the mistakes you make - that’s just life.
“He doesn’t need me to tell him he’s made a mistake.
“But he’ll learn from it, he’ll grow from it and he’ll be a better player because of it.
“I said last week that you get judged as a player every week at 3pm.
“You have to perform every single week, and that’s the challenge of becoming a top footballer.
“Whatever happens you dust yourself down, you prepare right and you get ready for the next game.”
Up to the sending-off, Latics had looked like they were going to take advantage of Power’s first goal for the club to take all three points.
“It was a great goal - and I thought we played some great stuff in the first half,” Caldwell recognised.
“They were set up to frustrate us, but we were very patient and we showed we can control a game more now than earlier in the season.
“You could see the development of the team, an understanding of what to do when teams play different ways against us.
“And the only disappointing thing was that it was only 1-0 at half-time. It should have been more.”
Despite being down to 10 men, Caldwell was frustrated his side didn’t ask more questions of Oldham in a frantic finale.
“We had to defend at the end, and I thought we defended well,” he added.
“But I’d have liked us to have been better on the ball with 10 men.
“I think we could still have caused them problems with a man down.
“We got anxious, we started clearing it rather than passing the ball out from the back, and couldn’t get any sort of possession or impetus in their half.”
The Scot also praised the 1,600-strong travelling army from Wigan that gave their side fantastic support from the off.
“The fans have been amazing this year, and we needed them in that last 15 minutes,” Caldwell said.
“They were still full of voice and they got behind the team when they needed to, as we kept out the Oldham threat.
“The boys went over to clap them at the end and it was deserved because they’ve been invaluable this season.”