Gary Caldwell gives his thoughts on Latics’ 2-2 draw away at Fulham.
- Gary Caldwell reacts to 2-2 draw away at Fulham.
- Caldwell ‘extremely proud’ of character shown by Latics.
- Still 12 points to aim for insists Caldwell.
Gary Caldwell gave a glowing report of his Wigan Athletic side following his first game in charge as manager, as Latics came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Speaking to Latics Player after the match, Caldwell said:
“I went in (to the dressing room) and straight away told the players I’m extremely proud of them.
“The way they played the game after only taking in the information we gave them over two days was brilliant.
“They played with confidence and with freedom and controlled the game for probably 80 minutes, we just let it slip for both of their goals.
“I thought we just stopped passing the ball and that’s how they scored their second.
“Overall I couldn’t be happier with the way we played, we just didn’t close down two shots in the first half, otherwise we probably would have won the game.”
With only limited preparation time after being announced as the new manager on Tuesday evening, Caldwell continued, expressing his delight at how eager his players:
“What we saw out there has me really looking forward to working more with this group.
“We worked on our style of play in training for the two days leading up to the game and it was coming along, but it’s going to take some time to get it as good as we want it.
“Tonight it was more than I could have hoped for, especially after going behind so early.
“The lads showed a lot of character to stick by our game plan, because the nervousness could have forced us to kick it long, instead we kept playing and passing.
“We just need to work on a few things in the final third and also tighten up a little bit at the back.”
Jermaine Pennant scored his third goal for Latics, another fantastic free kick, to make it 1-1, with Jason Pearce sliding in for the other equaliser in the second half. On the goals, Caldwell added:
“It was a brilliant free kick from Jermaine, he did it twice at Rotherham, it was a great free kick to get us back into the game.
“Jason’s such a committed player, just the type of player we want at our football club, he really came flying in to make sure he scored.”
Celebrations were jubilant with the supporters in the away section, with Pennant running the length of the field after his free kick, and Caldwell praised their backing on the night.
“The fans were great and as I said before the game we’re really going to need them to get behind us and back what we’re doing.
“They definitely did that tonight, our fans know their football, they know the game and it’s just a shame we couldn’t win the game for them.
“It was brilliant to see them tonight and they got behind us through every single minute, even when we went behind.”
Looking ahead to Latics next fixture against Millwall at the Den on Tuesday, Caldwell finished:
“We go again, I said that to the lads. A point’s a point here and we go again with 12 points to aim for starting with Millwall on Tuesday.
“We didn’t give up tonight and we pushed for the three points late in the game. We changed our shape to push more men forwards and we’ll continue to be brave from now until the end of the season.”