Latics have to protect Yanic, insists Caldwell

Yanic Wildschut
Yanic Wildschut

GARY Caldwell is adamant the decision to leave Yanic Wildschut out of the trip to Southend was ‘the right one’ for Wigan Athletic.

Wildschut was a late omission for Saturday’s trip to Roots Hall after reporting a slight hamstring scare before he played in last Tuesday’s home defeat at the hands of Burton.

He said last Tuesday he didn’t feel he could sprint at full speed, which I found surprising because the speed he ran during the game was quicker than I could ever run!

Gary Caldwell

Without their Dutch flyer, Latics were held to a 0-0 stalemate by the Shrimpers to remain in fifth place in the League One standings.

But Caldwell feels subjecting Wildschut to a second game in the space of four days would have been a recipe for disaster.

“The decision was made after speaking with Yanic and with the medical staff,” he told the Evening Post.

“To be fair to Yanic, he knows his own body better than anyone.

“He said last Tuesday he didn’t feel he could sprint at full speed, which I found surprising because the speed he ran during the game was quicker than I could ever run!

“He said he didn’t feel totally confident with his hamstrings, and we’d rather have him miss one game than five or six.

“It was a safe decision, but obviously we’d love to have him back in the fold for Saturday, doing what he does best.

“He trained with the physios on Monday, and he’ll hopefully be back with the group as soon as possible.

“He’s not ‘injured’ as such – it’s more precautionary, to protect the hamstring against fatigue, and the way he plays the game.”

Caldwell pointed to the hamstring injury sustained by Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez at Norwich on Sunday as proof that it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“You see Sanchez on Sunday, explosive players with hamstrings , and you have to be very careful,” he added.

“With these types of players, and their muscles, they’re playing right on the edge.

“With that power, your muscles have to be 100 per cent right or you are running the risk.

“Looking back I think it was the right decision to give Yanic a rest.”

l LATICS have paid out a whopping £1,461,088 in agents fees in the last year, according to figures released last night.

Unsurprisingly, the amount is the highest total in League One, and indeed only five clubs in the Championship – Cardiff, Fulham, Hull, QPR and Reading – paid more. The figures are for the 12-month period starting on October 1, 2014, when Latics were still chasing their dream of returning to the Premier League and paying out fees commensurate with that.

Latics have also been the busiest club in the country in each of the last two transfer windows, with an unprecedented amount of ins and outs during the last year.

They brought in virtually a new team during last January’s transfer window in a desperate bid to stave off relegation.

Then, over the summer, they signed over 20 new players to completely revamp the squad in an attempt to achieve promotion at the first attempt.

The next highest spenders in League One were Millwall (£297,850), who were relegated with Latics last term, while Bury – promoted from League Two – are the only club in the division who didn’t hand over a single penny to agents.