Kone can be King says Caldwell

Latics player Arouna Kone
Latics player Arouna Kone

GARY Caldwell has predicted big things for Arouna Kone after the Ivorian hit-man’s sparkling performance against Everton.

Kone bagged his third goal of the season to put Latics ahead, and laid on the second for Franco di Santo as the pair interlinked superbly.

And Caldwell believes the sky will be the limit once the former Levante man fully settles in at the DW.

“Arouna’s come in, he’s been a great addition to the team and his performances have been excellent so far,” said Caldwell.

“He gives us a real presence up front, and we have lacked that in years gone by. He really gives us that.

“When you get the ball to him, he causes defenders a lot of problems.

“He’s quiet in the dressing room, but I think more and more he will come out of his shell as the season goes on.”

Kone was so impressive in the opening period that Everton centre-back Johnny Heitinga was substituted at the break having struggled to get near him.

“Heitinga was exposed and we used that to our advantage,” Caldwell recognised.

“We wanted to exploit that space and Arouna was excellent.”

Having taken the lead twice, Caldwell admits the dressing room was a sombre place after the game.

“It’s disappointment, first and foremost,” he revealed.

“As a football club we’ve always tried to win games.

“Our over-riding feeling in the dressing room was disappointment that we weren’t able to hold on to the lead.”

Once again Latics old boy Leighton Baines proved a thorn in their side, with the late leveller that rescued a point for Everton.

And Caldwell believes Baines is currently the premier left-back in the top flight.

“He’s an excellent player – without a doubt the best left-back in the league,” the Wigan defender added. “He’s up and down, he provides great quality in an attacking sense and he gets back and provides cover for his defenders.

“He’s the one player in their team you would target. When you look at their team and the left-back is their most attacking player, that shows you he must be doing something right.

“At this moment in time, he’s the best. He’s back in the England team, he played the last game with Ashley Cole being out, and he’s pushing for that place again. Him and Steven Pienaar have had a great relationship for some time. They are Everton’s main attacking threat.”