Boss says Latics didn’t deserve to progress after penalty shootout defeat to Barnsley.
- Caldwell: “Hugely disappointed to miss out on Wembley chance.”
- Gary says his side have to be better in possession after 2-2 draw in 90 minutes is followed by penalty exit.
- Praise for striker Will Grigg who twice equalised for the hosts.
Latics manager Gary Caldwell was bitterly disappointed with his team’s performance as they went out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at the northern area semi-final stage on penalties, with Barnsley progressing to the area final to face either Fleetwood Town or Morecambe.
Caldwell’s side were twice behind in the game to goals from Adam Hammill and Ivan Toney, though Will Grigg equalised on both occasions to send the tie to a penalty shootout.
Former Tykes Craig Davies and David Perkins didn’t convert from the spot and the visitors went away with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory.
Reflecting post-match with LaticsPlayer HD, Caldwell said:
“It is hugely disappointing for everybody; there are not many times in your life that you get the opportunity to win a trophy and, not only that, win one at playing a stadium like Wembley and we have let that opportunity pass us by.
“It is a disappointed dressing room but I said to them that you, more often than not, get what you deserve in football and we didn’t deserve to win the game.”
On why his side didn’t deserve to win the game, Caldwell continued:
“We started OK, should have had a penalty [for the foul on Andy Kellett] but then we allowed them far too many opportunities, too many corners and then we didn’t create enough in forward areas.
“We need to be better; we have said that in recent weeks and I will say it again today, we have to holds our hands up and we cannot hide behind other teams coming and playing well, because every team that has come here season has raised their game and we have to deal with that.
“We have to raise our own standards, our own performances and be better with the ball because there were too many simple ones that we gave away and put ourselves under pressure.”
One positive on a tough day was Grigg’s double, the striker grabbing his first goals since October’s win at Peterborough United.
“I thought Will was outstanding,” he added. “He has been great all week, has worked really hard and again it proves the point that you get what you deserve in football because I thought his work rate for the team and his ability to get himself in the box in goal-scoring positions was good and he got his rewards.
The manager now admits his side have to regroup ahead of a busy schedule of League One fixtures.
“The league has always been the main focus but we said we wanted to do well in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, we’ve ultimately failed and we have to regroup now,” Caldwell said. “We now focus all of our attention on League One and have to work hard to achieve our goal of promotion.”