Gary Caldwell previews Latics’ clash with Crewe Alexandra.
- Gary speaks to Latics PlayerHD ahead of Crewe clash on Saturday 29 August.
- Manager discusses: Crewe, Pearce, Hiwula, Huws and McNaughton.
- “We need to get back to the standard we had against Scunthorpe.” – Caldwell.
“It’s been good to have a full week to prepare. We’ve had a lot of time at the training ground and got through a lot of good work, which has really got us looking forward to the game.
“We had a Development Squad friendly on Tuesday with nine first teamers, and it was great to see Jason Pearce out there for another 45 minutes.
“Jason has been great. He’s worked really hard and it’s been good to see him getting more game time.”
“We kept him down to 45 on Tuesday so that he could train again on Wednesday with the rest of the group.
“We did that with a few players which worked well and now they’re all eager to play and ready to go.
“His character is great to have in the dressing room and on the pitch, he’s a leader and always wants to win, it’s quite clear every time he plays.
“Having him back will be very important to the rest of the group because he’s a big influence. Jason is a passionate footballer and a big part of the club.”
MORE FROM GARY ON THIS WEEK’S FRIENDLY
“I thought the performance was great, we controlled the whole game and even when the younger lads came on we continued that.
“There was a five or 10 minute spell when we lost a lot of size and experience by making changes, and I was very interested in how the young lads would handle it. In fairness they did really well and could have scored two or three more goals towards the end of the game.
“The team that started the game were excellent; they applied a lot of the things we have been asking of them.
“It was good to see that the Development Squad players and the younger lads were also trying to implement the same style of play and philosophy that we’re trying to create at the club.”
GARY ON THE ARRIVAL OF JORDY HIWULA
“Jordy’s a player who I saw playing for Walsall last season. He’s got a great record and he scored a lot of goals in a short spell for them.
“I spoke to Rich (O’Donnell) about him and he said a lot of nice things. When I spoke to Jordy it was clear that he wants to be here and wants to play as much as possible.
“Jordy’s got great pedigree for a 20-year-old forward, and that’s something which interested us. To achieve what he achieved in League One last season is no mean feat, we know he’s got the capability to do it again and we need to bring that out of him here.”
GARY ON EMYR HUWS’ LOAN TO HUDDERSFIELD
“Emyr was a difficult one because he’s a player that I admire, I think he’s a very good football player, but right from the end of last season he made it clear that he didn’t want to be a part of this club in League One and wanted to leave.
“From our point of view our hands were tied. We need people here that are committed to the cause and committed to getting this club back up to where it should be, so from that point of view it was his decision.
“I can understand it to a point because naturally he wants to play at a higher level, but my advise to him was that we’ll be back there and that we’ll be pushing to go even further.
“He didn’t want to do that and we wish him well at Huddersfield.”
GARY ON THE TASK IN HAND AGAINST CREWE
“Crewe are a good footballing team. They’re a club that have had a philosophy for years of bringing players through their academy and putting them into the first team.
“I saw them in their cup game against Preston North End and whilst they got beat that night 3-1, they played very well, controlled most of the game and created a lot of problems for Preston.
“They’re going to be very difficult opposition and they’ve shown in their last two games that they can score goals. We’ll see two teams that want to play a similar way on Saturday and we’re looking forward to it because we’re still hurting from last week at Gillingham.
“We know the performance wasn’t as good as the Scunthorpe United one and we want to get back to that standard.”
GARY ON KEVIN McNAUGHTON
“It’s not great news for Kevin.
“We didn’t think it was too bad at the time, but the scans have shown that it’s a tear of a tendon in his hamstring and he’s going to be out for a number of months. It’s very disappointing for him and for us.”
- CREWE: Get behind Latics against the Alex at the DW Stadium.
- PROGRAMME: See what's inside this weekend's issue.
- WATCH: See the full interview with Gary on Latics PlayerHD.