Latics problem is ‘pretty obvious’, says Caldwell

Gary Caldwell
Gary Caldwell

GARY Caldwell admits a lack of goals is a ‘pretty obvious’ summation of Wigan Athletic’s current woes.

The 1-0 home defeat to Blackpool was the third time in a row Latics have failed to trouble the scorers in the league.

Despite once again dominating territory and possession, the side were unable to show much of a cutting edge against a determined Blackpool rearguard.

Latics have now dropped to sixth place in the League One table, 10 points off the leaders, and Caldwell is well aware they need to up their game in the final third.

“It’s pretty obvious what we need to work on – scoring goals,” the Latics chief acknowledged.

“And that’s been the case for most of the season.

“We need to be better in the final third, the strikers need to hold the ball up better, they need to move off the ball better, we need to put the ball in the box with more quality, and we need more bodies in the box when it gets there.

“We’ve a lot to work on, and we will get there.”

For all their effort and endeavour, Latics found themselves banging their heads against a brick wall despite setting up in an attacking 4-4-2 formation.

“I thought there were spells in the game where we played well, but we didn’t put the ball into the box or create as many chances as much as we should have,” Caldwell recognised.

“For all our good play, we didn’t do that enough, and when we did, we didn’t have enough bodies coming on the end of those opportunities.

“I was urging the team to have more forward runs and more forward passes, more crosses into the box.

“And they have to take responsibility for that on their own.

“We’ve got a week to work at some things, and we’ll come out next week at Barnsley fighting to get a result - and I’m sure we will.

“This is a low point, but there have been low points at the start of the season.

“We went on a great run, and we need to make sure we do that again.”

It was another frustrating afternoon for Northern Ireland international striker Will Grigg, whom Caldwell once again labelled this week ‘the best striker in League One’.

He had only two real sights of goal, a first-half shot that drifted wide and a second-half effort that brought an excellent save from the Blackpool goalkeeper.

“Will worked extremely hard again, but it just didn’t come off for him,” acknowledged his manager.

“That is the responsibility of the wide men and the people behind him to give him the opportunities.

“If we can do that, he’s proved he can score goals.”

Caldwell also refused to blame the appalling weather conditions - and subsequently saturated playing surface - for the defeat.

“Not at all, I thought the pitch was fine,” he added.

“It played pretty well, and I thought there were spells in the first half when we passed the ball very well.

“While there weren’t chances as such, there was good play and we did get into some good areas without doing with it.”