GARY Caldwell admits Wigan Athletic are still a ‘work in progress’ as they face Gillingham this afternoon looking for back-to-back wins.
Latics were hugely impressive in recording their maiden victory of the campaign in midweek, when visitors Scunthorpe were flattered to escape with only a 3-0 beating.
The inclusion from the start of Craig Davies for the first time was the catalyst for Latics to burst into life, with Will Grigg’s third-minute penalty – his second of the season – setting them on their way.
The link-up play between the front two was a joy to watch, with the rest of the side taking their lead and adding further goals from Donervon Daniels just before the half-hour and Davies in the final quarter.
Caldwell was fulsome in his praise for his troops after the game, but insists there is more to come from the pre-season promotion favourites.
“It’s one game, but we’re still a work in progress and there’s still a lot to work on,” acknowledged Caldwell.
“But the positive thing is we can still get a lot better.
“We could have come in at half-time three or four goals up, with the game already put to bed.
“We have to be more ruthless when we have that much ball and that much dominance – we have to make it count.
“But in the second half we stayed on the front foot, we tried to score more goals and it was pleasing that we were able to be so comfortable in the last 15 minutes.”
Caldwell is expected to stick with two up front for the trip to Gillingham, with the dynamic duo having sent out a real statement of intent on Wednesday night.
“We’re finding these things out as we go, but having Craig up alongside him took a lot of the work load off Will,” recognised Caldwell.
“That allowed him the space to do his stuff and he did it well. I actually thought we could have scored more goals.
“In the first half we had great opportunities, and in the second half Will had one disallowed for a soft foul.
“We were great in the way we attacked in numbers, with real pace and threat, and that’s something we’ve worked on.
“We knew it would take time but we knew it would come, and it’s something that we know we can improve on.”
The big question now is whether Latics can pick up where they left off against a Gills side that has picked up seven points from a possible nine including an emphatic victory over highly-fanciedSheffield United on the opening day.
“I think we can,” insisted Caldwell. “It is obviously more difficult away from home, but I think it’s possible to play your style, and it enables you to quieten the home crowd.
“Football’s about styles, and every team plays in a different way. It’s a case of you having to win the battle and your style winning out over the opposition, and we’ll continue to do that.
“Every team we’ve played has tried to raise their game and have a go at us.
“It’ll be no different on Saturday and we’ll have to be ready for that.
“I watched Gillingham last weekend against Port Vale, and they’re a good side who have had a great start to the season.”
Caldwell admitted last week he was happy to have selection problems of a welcome kind for the first time since becoming manager in April.
That led to the tough decision to leave out Max Power against Scunthorpe to accommodate Davies’ selection.
“Max has been great since he came to the club, his attitude has been first class and his play has been excellent,” Caldwell added.
“I spoke to him and told him it’s going to be a long season, and we have a big squad with plenty of players pushing to get in the team.
“He understands that at times he’s going to have to sit on the bench and allow others to play, and he took it in a positive way.”