GARY Caldwell offered an unreserved apology for Wigan Athletic’s ‘embarrassing’ FA Cup capitulation at Bury - which he labelled the lowest point of his brief managerial career.
Latics were second best across the board at Gigg Lane, the 2013 winners bowing out 4-0 at the first hurdle in the meekest manner imaginable.
Bury were three goals to the good by the halfway mark, with further salt being added to Wigan wounds when ex-Latics striker Leon Clarke made it four midway through the second period.
Caldwell had tried to rally his troops by sending on Yanic Wildschut and Michael Jacobs at half-time, but it was too little too late with the damage already done.
“I wish I’d been able to bring on 11 subs at half-time to be honest - and then another three in the second half,” acknowledged Caldwell.
“It was one of those days where I don’t think anyone associated with Wigan Athletic can be happy with their day’s work.
“I’m a little bit embarrassed, to be honest.
“It’s obviously my responsibility to pick the team, I prepare the team, and I shoulder more responsibility than anyone.
“I think anyone who knows me will know I’ll be working out why this happens, do something about it and come back stronger.
“It’s probably the lowest I’ve been, since I’ve been in the job.
“Obviously everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.
“And it’s one we have to take on the chin, regroup and go again.
“We had great support once again, and we have to say sorry to the fans.
“It’s obviously not good enough in terms of the performance and the result.”
Despite making four changes to his starting XI, Caldwell had expected the players that took to the field to be up to the task in hand.
And he could not hide his disappointment at so many of them under-performing when opportunity knocked.
“As I told the players after the game, that 90 minutes in their careers is gone now,” admitted Caldwell, whose men have an immediate chance to bounce back when they entertain Blackpool on Tuesday night in the northern area quarter-final of the JPT.
“It’s in the history books, and they have to live with that.
“You can’t afford to just play with your career.
“When you get an opportunity to play, you have to take it.
“I’ll be having a long, hard look before Tuesday night about picking a team I believe will be good enough to beat Blackpool.
“And the people send out there on the park have to take their opportunity better than the 14 who played at Bury.”