Boss frustrated as Latics fail to build on midweek success over Scunthorpe United.
- Caldwell disappointed from the start with Latics’ performance.
- Second-half improvement a positive but Gary says his side need to improve on the counter.
- Manager looking for side to dust themselves down ahead of Crewe.
Gillingham, who now lead the Sky Bet League One table, were confident throughout and look a force to be reckoned with in the third tier, though Caldwell was frustrated by a performance that never really got going.
“We’re disappointed; we came here on the back of a good performance and win on Wednesday and we wanted to build on that,” Caldwell explained. “We didn’t really get started in the game and caused ourselves too many problems in the first-half, we knew exactly what they were about and we let them score the first goal.
“We have to put a string of results together and that’s the challenge for this group; it’s no good doing it once and then not building on it – we have to do it over a number of weeks.
“We weren’t brave enough to impose our style from minute one.”
Asked what contributed to the contrast in performances, Caldwell says a poor start with the ball contributed whilst Will Grigg’s second-half effort, well saved by Stuart Nelson in the Gills’ goal, was a moment that could have changed the course of the game with Latics on top.
“I think away from home is always a different challenge,” he added. “You have to stand up to the home crowd, you have to be brave in possession and I think up until the goal we didn’t pass the ball the way we can and then when they score, we do pass it, and that’s a big disappointment.
“We were on top at the moment of Will’s chance and I felt we controlled the second-half much better but we still need to be better on the counter attack; we are too open when we lose it at times. If we’d have scored then, then we would have had the momentum in the game.”
Kevin McNaughton was injured in the first-half and had to be replaced but Caldwell was optimistic about the former Scotland international’s situation following the full-time whistle.
Caldwell’s biggest disappointment lied with the failure to send the travelling support home happy after the best part of 300 fans battled severe traffic to get to Kent for the game.
“It was incredible from the fans that travelled; it’s a long way to come and we’re disappointed that we didn’t give them something to go home with,” Caldwell continued.
“We’ve not managed to do that, though, and we have to dust ourselves down and go again.”