New Wigan Athletic manager Gary Caldwell discusses new philosophy, players and pride in taking on the role.
- Caldwell – “It’s a club that means a lot to me."
- Former Scotland international describes his unique style with the ultimate aim of winning.
- 32-year-old looking forward to working with “good people and good players.”
Wigan Athletic’s new manager Gary Caldwell spoke of his pride at being named Latics manager on Tuesday afternoon.
The 32-year-old, who made over 100 appearances for the club between January 2010 and May 2014, says that although it’s a strange feeling hearing people call him the manager, it’s a special moment and that he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I am very proud, it’s still a little bit strange hearing people call me the manager of Wigan Athletic,” Caldwell said.
“It’s been a really busy 24 hours but it is something that I’m really proud of, to say that I’m manager of Wigan Athletic.
“It’s a club that means a lot to me; I’ve been here over five years now, I’ve had some great times and I’m really looking forward to the massive challenge ahead.”
On management itself, Caldwell says it’s always been his aim to follow that career path, especially given the importance he placed on leadership as a player himself.
“It has always been an ambition of mine to be a manager; I think most players will tell you that I was a manager on the pitch, I got everyone to do my running for me and cover up for my deficiencies by bossing them about! This time I’ll get to do that without having to play alongside them.
“Leadership is something I’ve always looked at; I’ve always wanted to be the captain of the football club, the leader, and to become a manager is the natural progression.
“It’s obviously come very quickly in my career; it’s something I’ve always looked forward to, though.
“I’ve spent the longest part of my career at this club and it’s a club that’s really special to me.”
Caldwell says he is looking to implementing his own unique philosophy, though his mentality and ideas have developed over a career that has seen him play under managers such as Sir Bobby Robson, Gordon Strachan and Roberto Martinez.
“I’ve worked with many great managers throughout my career and good people that have shaped me and the way I played the game and obviously I’ll take bits from each of them,” Caldwell continued.
“I also want to be unique in my views on the game and make my own philosophy and try and bring that to this club.
“I want to play the game the right way, I want to pass the ball but ultimately I want to win football matches and that’s what I was like as a player, and as a manager that will be the same.
“I’m after that desire that, as a player myself, I always wanted to display; I always wanted to be someone that was committed for the team that I played for and show desire to win football games.
“I know a lot of the boys really well and I’ve sat in a changing room with them every day, only as recently as the other day so I know them well.
“It’s a changing room full of good people, full of good players, but I just want them to show a real commitment to the cause and to the new ideas that we can hopefully bring to try and win football games.”
Latics have five games remaining in the Sky Bet Championship, and Caldwell says unity will be key between players and supporters in accumulating as many points as possible.
“I think the fans have always been great here; the times when we stayed in the Premier League we really got the fans behind us in the run-ins.
“It’s a family club, it’s a club with great fans, we don’t get big numbers – something people like to tell us about – but when they do come here, they always come and support the club and the players are always thankful of that.
“There’s some great memories for me; things like the people who used to come and ask for autographs on the way into the stadium before the big games in the Premier League.
“It’s something that we need for the fans to come back and we’ll try and give them a club that they can be proud of again and we’ll try and win matches for them.
“We’re going to need everyone in this together to pull us out of it.”